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Ch 12: Mechanical & Electromagnetic Waves

About This Chapter

In this chapter, you'll find a variety of study materials that can help you quickly review the fundamentals of mechanical and electromagnetic waves. Review the chapter at your own pace to improve your wave knowledge for tests, homework, projects or any class assignment.

Mechanical & Electromagnetic Waves - Chapter Summary

Check out this series of engaging video lessons to refresh your knowledge of mechanical and electromagnetic waves. The chapter is taught by expert science instructors who use clear definitions and illustrative examples to show you a variety of basic wave topics, such as wave-particle duality, the Doppler effect, Snell's law, wave reflection, the electromagnetic spectrum and more. When you're finished with the chapter, you should be equipped to:

  • Define wave propagation, wave parameters and wave-particle duality
  • Compare sound, reflection and electromagnetic waves
  • Identify the electromagnetic spectrum's seven major regions
  • Explain refraction, dispersion and reflection
  • Recognize the characteristics of a prism
  • Describe light polarization and Malus' law
  • Discuss the applications of the Doppler effect

You can review these lessons on any device that has an Internet connection, such as a laptop or mobile device. The chapter also includes short quizzes to help you check your understanding of these wave terms and concepts. If you want to take notes while you follow along with the lesson narrators, simply print out the word-for-word transcripts. We've also included an Ask the Expert feature that you can use if you have any questions about the material.

12 Lessons in Chapter 12: Mechanical & Electromagnetic Waves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Wave Propagation

1. Wave Propagation

Wave propagation refers to the physics of movements and generation of waves. Explore the concepts of wave propagation through wave speed & medium, and the types of vibration directions: transverse & longitudinal.

Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

2. Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

Wave parameters refer to the different ways waves are measured. Examine how waves are characterized by wavelength, amplitude, period, frequency, and/or speed.

What are Sound Waves? - Definition, Types & Uses

3. What are Sound Waves? - Definition, Types & Uses

As opposed to the undulation of the surface of the water as it lashes a beach, sound waves are frequencies of the compression, or vibration of air. Learn more about the definition of a sound wave, the different types and features of sound waves, and uses of sound waves alternative to hearing, such as ultrasound.

Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

4. Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

Electromagnetic waves are both electric and magnetic, and can travel without a medium. Learn about the definition, sources, and properties of electromagnetic waves.

The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

5. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Unlike some other waves, electromagnetic waves don't require a medium to travel. This lesson delves into the frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum including infrared, ultraviolet, microwaves, X-rays, radio waves, and gamma rays.

Reflection of Waves: Definition & Examples

6. Reflection of Waves: Definition & Examples

Whether sound, light, infrared, or radio, waves move around a space and often bounce off of surfaces in a process called reflection. Learn about the law of reflection, the two types, an extraordinary example of sound reflection, and the great distances traveled by earthquake and radio waves.

Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

7. Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

The reflection of waves occurs when a wave changes direction after it hits a surface. Explore incident and reflected rays, the law of reflection, and reflection off curved surfaces.

Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

8. Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

When a light wave passes from one medium into another, it changes direction in a process called refraction. This lesson investigates the properties of refraction, including the index of refraction and the ratio known as Snell's Law.

What is a Prism? - Definition & Refraction

9. What is a Prism? - Definition & Refraction

Prisms are objects with two or more flat surfaces forming an acute angle refracting white light into a discernible rainbow. Discover the index of refraction, Snell's Law, and properties of light waves.

Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

10. Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

Polarization is essentially filtering out the chaotic light-wave oscillations to achieve a more clear, and 'polar' experience of light. Explore how glasses, screens, and radios polarize, and understand Malus's law, which calculates the way to dim light to polarize effectively.

The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

11. The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

The Doppler effect explains why a sound's pitch seems to change depending on whether it's coming towards you or moving away from you. This lesson investigates how the Doppler effect works, and how it can be applied to the behavior of both sound waves and light waves.

Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples

12. Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples

When the photoelectric effect was discovered, it challenged the preconceived scientific theory that science that light behaves like a wave. This lesson explores how light can act as both a wave and a particle, and how this discovery led to the theory of wave-particle duality.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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