Ch 12: Waves in Physics

About This Chapter

Work through this comprehensive physics chapter to learn or review information about waves. These bite-sized lessons and quizzes are convenient options for anyone who needs to prepare for an upcoming physics test or brush up on their understanding of basic waves concepts.

Waves in Physics - Chapter Summary

If you need to review fundamental waves concepts in physics, take a look at this helpful online study guide chapter. Inside, you'll find lessons that compare different types of waves and explain relevant concepts, such as the angle of incidence, reflection, Huygen's principle, destructive interference and much more. The chapter is available to study at any time, and you can use any computer or mobile device to access the material. Be sure to take the accompanying self-assessment quizzes to check your understanding of these wave topics. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Recognize the different types of waves
  • Describe wave vibrations and various wave parameters
  • Identify transverse and longitudinal wave parts
  • Define reflection and the angle of incidence
  • Evaluate refraction and dispersion through Snell's law and the index of refraction
  • Explain Huygen's principle and the concept of diffraction
  • Compare constructive and destructive interference

10 Lessons in Chapter 12: Waves in Physics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Waves: Types & Definition

1. Waves: Types & Definition

Examine the different types of waves and what parts of our daily lives are affected by waves, from the ocean to the microwave to sound. Explore how waves are measured and classified.

Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion

2. 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.

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

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.

Transverse Wave: Definition, Parts & Examples

4. Transverse Wave: Definition, Parts & Examples

This lesson will define transverse waves, discuss the names for various features and parts of a transverse wave, and go through some examples of transverse waves in the world. A short quiz will follow.

Longitudinal Wave: Definition, Parts & Examples

5. Longitudinal Wave: Definition, Parts & Examples

There are a few different kinds of waves, including the longitudinal wave. This type of wave occurs when the particles of a medium move in the same direction as the wave itself.

Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

6. Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

How do waves reflect off of surfaces? How do we account for the images that we see reflected in various objects? Discover the answers to these questions as we investigate the rays and angles defining the law of reflection.

Angle of Incidence: Definition & Formula

7. Angle of Incidence: Definition & Formula

Discover what an angle of incidence is and how it relates to light. Then dive further into learning the related topics of incident angles with the reflection and refraction of light.

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

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

Refraction explains why light bends in water. But, did you know that mathematical laws determine exactly how light waves are bent? In this lesson, we'll explore the mechanics of wave refraction, including Snell's Law and the index of refraction.

Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

9. Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what diffraction is, provide some real-life examples of diffraction, state Huygen's Principle, and explain how Huygen's Principle applies to those real-life examples. A short quiz will follow.

Constructive and Destructive Interference

10. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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