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# AS Physics - Waves

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AS physics - AQA spec - waves - part of UNIT 2 [UK]

AS physics - AQA spec - waves - part of UNIT 2 [UK]

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• 1. Waves
• 2. Waves Terms
Peak
Trough
Displacement – Distance and direction from equilibrium position
Amplitude – Maximum displacement of vibrating particle from equilibrium position
• 3. Wavelength – The least distance between 2 adjacent vibrating particles ie. 2 peaks or troughs
Wave cycle - From one maximum displacement to the next maximum displacement
Wave Period – Time for one wave to pass a fixed point
Frequency – Number of complete waves passing a point each second. (Hz)
C = fλ
• 4. Longitudinal & Transverse Waves
Particle vibration in Longitudinal waves are parallel to the direction the wave travels
Longitudinal waves include sound and primary seismic waves
Particle vibration in Transverse waves are perpendicularto the direction the wave travels
Transverse waves include Electromagnetic and secondary seismic waves
• 5. Polarisation
Plane- Polarised transverse waves stay on 1 plane only
Un-polarised transverse waves move from one plane to another
Longitudinal waves cannot be polarised
• 6. Stationary Waves - Definition
These are waves where the positions of the peaks and troughs do not move
You can observe standing waves by fixing one end of a piece of rope to a stationary object and oscillating it like a sin wave
When the wave reaches the fixed when it 'reflects' back towards you
When this occurs fast enough you'll start to see standing wave patterns like the diagram below
• 7. Nodes and antinodes
In the context os standing waves, a node is a point where the amplitude is zero
An antinode is the opposite: a point where the amplitude is at its maximum:
• 8. Wave Diffraction
Diffraction is the spreading out of waves as they pass through a gap or by an obstacle