About This Chapter
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
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the Physics 101: Intro to Physics course
- Intro to Physics
- Overview of Vectors
- Overview of Kinematics
- Overview of Forces
- Overview of Gravity
- Basics of Newton's First Law
- Basics of Newton's Second Law
- Basics of Newton's Third Law
- Energy and Work in Physics
- Overview of Linear Momentum in Physics
- Basics of Rotational Motion
- Sound & Light in Physics
- Basics of Optics
- Fluid Dynamics in Physics
- Basics of Thermodynamics in Physics
- Overview of Electrostatics
- Overview of Magnetism
- Basics of Nuclear Physics
- Studying for Physics 101