About This Chapter
Properties of Waves - Chapter Summary
This chapter's introductory lessons explain the causes of waves and illustrate how they transfer energy across a medium. The five parameters of waves are also discussed. Watch as instructors show you how to use a wave's amplitude to measure its energy or demonstrate why calculations involving frequency and wavelength can determine its speed. You'll also get to study the differences between transverse and longitudinal waves, and many of the lessons discuss the characteristics of sound. For example, you could learn about factors influencing the speed, intensity and volume of sound waves, or examine the ways in which wave frequency determine pitch.
Other lessons explain how a change in the position of a wave source affects the apparent frequency of sound and light waves, otherwise known as the Doppler effect. You can also look at evidence explaining the theory of wave-particle duality, which holds that light is both a wave and a stream of photons. Some of the main ideas addressed in this chapter include:
- Wave parameters
- Transverse and longitudinal waves
- Factors affecting wave transmission
Once you've finished following the illustrations and examples included in these short videos, you can use the transcripts to view key terms at a glance and click on the video tags to go over main points discussed by the instructors. Additionally, each lesson has a self-assessment quiz that you can take as often as needed to make sure your proficiency level is where you need it to be.
1. Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion
What is a wave? What causes waves, and how do they travel from one place to another? This lesson will guide you through the basics of waves. We'll discuss their origins from vibrations and investigate how they carry energy through a medium.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves
This lesson describes how sound and light waves are affected by the principle of resonance. Learn how resonance occurs through the vibrations and resonant frequencies of objects. You'll investigate everyday examples of resonance and learn how to break a wine glass with your voice!
5. What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound
Explore the minute workings of sound waves and how they travel. We'll discuss the main factors that affect the speed of sound waves, and we'll try some mathematical problems involving the wave equation.
6. Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves
What do pitch and volume mean when talking about sound waves? Further your understanding of sound waves in this lesson as we explore the more familiar aspects of sound. We'll learn about pitch and volume and how they relate to sound wave parameters.
7. The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications
What is the Doppler effect? How does it affect our perceptions of sound and light? In this lesson, learn how traveling wave sources can change the way we observe sound and light waves. Explore the applications of the Doppler effect on shock waves, sonic booms, and the movements of distant galaxies.
8. Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples
Is light a particle with mass and substance? Or, is it just a wave traveling through space? Most scientists say light is both a particle and a wave! Find out how they came to this strange conclusion as we learn about the theory of wave-particle duality.
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