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Physics - WAVES

TermDefinition
Interference Pattern The pattern formed by superposition of different sets of waves that produces reinforcement in some places and cancellation in others.
Standing Wave A stationary wave pattern formed in a medium when two sets of identical waves pass through the medium in opposite directions.
Doppler Effect The shift in received frequency due to motion of a vibrating source toward or away from a receiver.
Reflection Return of light rays from a surface in such a way that the angle at which a given ray is returned is equal to the angle at which it strikes the surface. In general, the bouncing back of a particle or wave that strikes the boundary between two media.
Refraction Bending sound or any wave caused by a difference in wave speeds.
Diffraction Bending of light that passes around an obstacle or through a narrow slit, causing the light to spread and to produce light and dark fringes.
Interference Result of superposing different waves, often of the same wavelength. Constructive interference results from crest-to-crest reinforcement; destructive interference results from crest-to-trough cancellation.
Node Any part of a standing wave that remains stationary; a region of minimal or zero energy.
Antinodes Any part of a standing wave with maximum displacement and maximum energy.
Pitch Term that refers to our subjective impression about the "highness" or "lowness" of a tone, which is related to the frequency of the tone. A high-frequency vibrating source produces a sound of high pitch; a low-frequency vibrating produces a low pitch.
Overtones Musical term where the first overtone is the second harmonic.
Beat Sequence of alternating reinforcement and cancellation of two sets of superimposed waves differing in frequency, heard as a throbbing sound.
Electromagnetic Waves Often called light waves, caused by any charged particle that vibrates (electrons), can travel through empty space with no need for a medium, and travels at the speed of light 3 x 10^8 m/s
Mechanical Waves Need a medium to travel through, they vibrate the medium, and travel through air a t 340 m/s.
Resonance Phenomenon that occurs when the frequency of forced vibrations on an object matches the object's natural frequency, producing a dramatic increase in amplitude.
Created by: Matti