A sigle wave
Superposition of waves
© The scientific sentence. 2010
A wave is energy conveyed, then transmitted by a medium
from a point that has undergone a disturbance to another point.
When we talk, we disturb the air (medium) around us. This disturbance
is conveyed and transmitted from us to another point. Such a disturbance
is called the sound wave.This wave is propagated from us and
travelled through the air which is the medium conveyor.
This example relates a wave that propagates through a material medium. It's
then called a mechanical wave. As it travels, It's called a
travelling wave; That's also the case of a water wave that propagates
accross the surface of water or waves on ropes and strings. By contrast,
a standing wave is confined in space by boundaries. We find standing
waves in music instruments such as a guitar.
Mechanical waves can be described with Newton's laws.
When a matter is disturbed, the resultant wave on it travels, but the
particles of this medium do not move; they just oscillate. When the
oscillation is "up-down", the resultant wave is transverse that
shows crest and troughs. When the oscillation is "back-forth",
the resultant wave is longitudinal that shows compression and
expansion. For the transverse wave, the particles oscillate perpendicular
to the propagation direction.For the longitudinal wave, the particles oscillate
parallel to the propagation direction.
Some wave have both transverse and longitudinal components such as
water waves. A water wave propagates radially outward from the point of the
disturbance forming circles. Each of these expanding circles is alled a
wavefront . The water wave propagates in two dimensions. It is
an example of the plane waves .
Like the sound waves; the electromagnetic waves that are light,
x-rays, radio waves and microwaves obtained by the oscillation of an
electric field; propagate in three dimensions (all directions). In a uniform
medium, their wavefronts form spherical surfaces centred at the the point
source. They are called spherical waves.
©: The scientificsentence.net. 2007.