About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help understanding high school physics material will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn better grades. You're in the right place if you:
- Have fallen behind in understanding wave parameters or the behaviors of light and sound waves.
- Need an efficient way to learn about waves, sound and light.
- Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools.
- Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD.
- Experience difficulty understanding your teachers.
- Missed class time and need to catch up.
- Can't access extra science resources at school.
How it works:
- Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
- Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Waves, Sound and Light chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Waves, Sound and Light chapter exam to be prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any relevant question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students will review:
In this chapter, you'll learn the answers to questions including:
- How do waves originate, and what are their parameters?
- How do longitudinal and transverse waves differ from each other?
- What factors affect the speed, pitch and volume of sound waves?
- What are the major properties of electromagnetic waves?
- How do human beings recognize colors?
- What main concepts are used to explain the behaviors of light and sound?
- How does the Doppler Effect work?
- What conclusions can be drawn from the theory of wave-particle duality?
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. 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.
5. 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.
6. Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties
In this lesson, learn the basics of electromagnetic waves and how they make up the electromagnetic spectrum. We will explore the major trends and categories within the spectrum, as well as the various sources of electromagnetic waves.
7. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
This lesson will walk you through each of the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the unique characteristics of X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, UV rays, infrared, gamma rays, and of course, visible light.
8. The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency
This lesson introduces the basics of visible light and color. Learn how the visible light spectrum is divided into the six color ranges. We'll also discuss why different people name colors in different ways.
9. 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.
10. Diffuse Reflection: Definition, Examples & Surfaces
This lesson explores the law of reflection and how it applies to different surfaces and wave types. We'll learn the difference between specular and diffuse reflection and investigate how diffuse reflection affects our perception of sound and light.
11. 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!
12. Transparent and Opaque Materials in Electromagnetic Waves
What makes an object transparent or opaque? How does light pass through some objects and not others? And what about the other types of electromagnetic waves? We'll investigate all these questions in this lesson about the transparency and opacity of materials.
13. Color: White Light, Reflection & Absorption
What gives color to objects? How do light waves interact with materials to produce red and green or white and black? In this lesson, learn how white light is composed of all colors and how absorption and reflection influence our color perception.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. The Absorption Coefficient: Definition & Calculation
This lesson explains the definition of the absorption coefficient and presents the equations relating the absorption coefficient, the amount of light a material absorbs, and the thickness of that material.
20. How to Calculate Wave Velocity
In this lesson we explore the relationship between wavelenth, frequency and wave velocity. We also introduce the concept of velocity factor for calculating the wave velocity in mediums other than free space.
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Other chapters within the High School Physics: Help and Review course
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- Vectors in Physics: Help and Review
- Kinematics in Physics: Help and Review
- Newton's Laws in Physics: Help and Review
- Work, Energy, & Power in Physics: Help and Review
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- Potential and Capacitance in Physics: Help and Review
- Direct Current Circuits in Physics: Help and Review
- Magnetism in Physics: Help and Review
- Atomic and Nuclear Physics: Help and Review
- Fluid Mechanics in Physics: Help and Review
- Thermal Physics & Thermodynamics: Help and Review
- Relativity & Quantum Theory in Modern Physics: Help and Review
- The Universe in Physics: Help and Review
- Physics Lab Experiments: Motion: Help and Review
- Physics Lab Experiments: Matter & Light: Help and Review
- Physics Lab Experiments: Electricity: Help and Review