# Ch 20: AP Physics 2: Waves

### About This Chapter

## AP Physics 2: Waves - Chapter Summary

This chapter offers an engaging examination of waves. Gain greater insight into transverse waves, wave propagation, diffraction, constructive and destructive interference and much more. Fun lessons are available around-the-clock and are accompanied by short quizzes you can take to test your knowledge of waves. Our experts can answer any questions you have about specific lesson topics. The lessons cover the following AP Physics 2 exam topics:

- Understanding the parameters of waves
- Differentiating between transverse and longitudinal waves
- Identifying diffraction and the effects on wavelength
- Understanding interference and wave patterns
- Calculating wavelength
- Constructing equations for wave parameters
- Defining amplitude and frequency
- Recognizing the superposition principle and resultant waves

### 1. Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

What comes to mind when you think of a wave? Chances are your mental image takes the form of a transverse wave. But, longitudinal waves are just as important, and understanding the difference is vital to learning about waves. In this lesson, explore both types of waves and the unique characteristics of each.

### 2. Wave Propagation: Mechanical Waves vs. Electromagnetic Waves

In this lesson, we'll learn about key differences in the two main types of waves, mechanical and electromagnetic. By the end of the lesson you'll be able to define these two types of waves and compare how these waves move through space.

### 3. Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

How do we measure and describe waves? How do waves differ based upon their shapes? This lesson will guide you through the five wave parameters - period, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed - that we use to characterize waves.

### 4. The Superposition Principle & Resultant Waves

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what the superposition principle is, and use it to predict what will happen when two waves are combined. A short quiz will follow.

### 5. Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

This lesson explores diffraction as one of the many behaviors of waves. Learn how diffraction occurs in sound and light waves and how it is affected by the wavelength of a wave. Find out how animals use diffraction to communicate and how scientists use it to study molecules.

### 6. Constructive and Destructive Interference

What happens when one wave meets another? Do the waves converge to make one giant wave? Or, do they destroy each other? In this lesson, we'll explore the workings of wave interference.

### 7. Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

This lesson explores double-slit diffraction, including the significance of Young's double slit experiment and how the diffraction pattern forms. You will also learn to use equations to calculate the positions of minima and maxima in the pattern.

### 8. How to Calculate Wavelength

Discover practical examples of waves and the significance of wavelength. Learn the relationship of wavelength, frequency, and wave speed, as well as how to calculate wavelength based on these parameters.

### 9. What is Amplitude? - Definition & Frequency

Discover practical examples of waves and the significance of wave amplitude. Learn about the relationship between frequency and wavelength and how they relate to the amplitude of the wave.

### 10. What Is Frequency? - Definition, Spectrum & Theory

In this lesson, you will learn what frequency is, and how that is observed by our senses both in terms of light (the electromagnetic spectrum) and sound. A short quiz will follow.

### 11. The Resultant Amplitude of Two Superposed Waves

Have you ever wondered what happens when two waves run into each other? In this lesson we're going to look at that exact scenario and how it affects wave amplitude.

### Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

### Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

### Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP Physics 2: Exam Prep course

- AP Physics 2: Properties & Structure of Systems
- AP Physics 2: Fluids & Fluid Flow
- AP Physics 2: Electric Charge
- AP Physics 2: Mass & Energy
- AP Physics 2: Properties of Objects, Space & Time
- AP Physics 2: Properties of Matter
- AP Physics 2: Vector & Scalar Fields
- AP Physics 2: Electric Fields
- AP Physics 2: Magnetic Fields
- AP Physics 2: Forces
- AP Physics 2: Newton's Laws of Motion
- AP Physics 2: Force Labs
- AP Physics 2: Electric & Magnetic Properties of a System
- AP Physics 2: Thermodynamics & Entropy
- AP Physics 2: Conservation Principles
- AP Physics 2: Conservation in Electrical Circuits
- AP Physics 2: Conservation of Electric Charge
- AP Physics 2: Conservation of Nucleon Number
- AP Physics 2: Conservation of Linear Momentum
- AP Physics 2: Reflection & Refraction
- AP Physics 2: Electromagnetic Radiation
- AP Physics 2: Wave Models
- AP Physics 2: Ideal Gas
- AP Physics 2 Flashcards