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Topic 7 vocab

Physics Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Diffraction The spreading or bending of a wave into a region behind an obstacle.
Refraction The change in direction of a wave that occurs when the wave passes at an angle through a boundary between two different media and across which there is a change in speed.
Regular Reflection An effect produced by polished surfaces, usually resulting an image of the source.
Transverse Wave The vibratory disturbance of a transverse wave is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the wave.
Antinode A point on a standing wave with the greatest displacement from the rest position.
Law Of Reflection The angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence.
Wave A vibratory disturbance that propagates through a material, called a medium, or space.
Period The time required for the completion of a single vibration, or event, of a periodic phenomena, such as a periodic wave or an orbit.
Sympathetic Vibrations The resonance effect when an object is forced to vibrate at one of its natural frequencies, usually by another vibrating object
Destructive Interference The effect of combining two waves in which the wave displacements act in opposite directions.
Constructive Interference The effect of combining two waves in which the wave displacements act in the same direction.
Pulse A single vibratory disturbance that moves from point to point.
Amplitude The amplitude of a wave is the maximum displacement of a particle of the medium from the rest position.
Medium A material though which a disturbance travels.
Hertz (Hz) The SI unit of frequency. It is a derived unit: 1 hertz = 1 cycle/second
Resonance Vibrations in an object at the object’s natural frequency caused by a wave with the same frequency.
Doppler Effect The variation in observed frequency caused by the relative motion between a source and a receiver.
Interference The effect produced by two or more waves passing simultaneously through a region.
Phase (Wave) Points on a single periodic wave having the same displacement from the equilibrium position and moving in the same direction are said to be in phase.
Node A point or line on a standing wave where there is almost no vibration.
Superposition A combination of two or more wave displacements to produce a resultant displacement. The resultant displacement at any point is the algebraic sum of displacements due to individual waves.
Natural Frequency The frequency at which an elastic object vibrates when it is disturbed in some way, for example, when it is struck or plucked.
Wavelength The wavelength (λ) of a periodic wave is the distance between two consecutive points in phase.
Sound Mechanical longitudinal waves in air and other media set up by vibrating bodies.
Reflection The bounce of a wave, such as light or sound, off a surface.
Periodic Wave A series of regular (evenly timed) disturbances in a medium.
Wave Front The locus of adjacent points of the wave which are in phase.
Mechanical Wave A wave that requires a material medium to carry the wave energy, such as sound and water waves.
Doppler Effect The variation in observed frequency caused by the relative motion between a source and a receiver.
Resonance Vibrations in an object at the object’s natural frequency caused by a wave with the same frequency.
Standing Wave Produced when two waves of the same frequency and amplitude travel in opposite directions in the same medium.
Longitudinal Wave The vibratory disturbance in a longitudinal wave is parallel to the direction of travel of the wave.
Natural Frequency The frequency at which an elastic object vibrates when it is disturbed in some way, for example, when it is struck or plucked.
Apparent Frequency The frequency perceived by an observer when the source of the waves is moving toward or away from the observer. This is found in the Doppler Effect.
Interference The effect produced by two or more waves passing simultaneously through a region.
Frequency The number of vibrations occurring per unit of time.
Created by: jwhitm5