Traveling Waves

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Physics and Astrophysics
Brian Wilson

Chapter 20 Traveling WavesThe Wave ModelWave Model emphasizes the aspects of wave behavior common to all wavesTraveling Wave an organized disturbance traveling with a welldefined wave speedoTransverse Wave wave in which the displacement is perpendicular to the direction in which the wave travels waves along a string and electromagnetic wavesoLongitudinal Wave the particles in the medium move parallel to the direction in which the wave travels push pull of springs and sound wavesMechanical Waves travel only within a material medium such as air or water sound and water wavesElectromagnetic Waves selfsustaining oscillation of the electromagnetic field that require no material medium and can travel through a vacuum radio waves visible light and xraysMatter Waves electrons and atoms have wavelike characteristicsMedium a substance through or along which the wave moves medium of a water wave is water medium of sound wave is air and medium of a wave on a string is the string it must be elastic and must have a restoring forceDisturbance in the Medium as a wave passes through a medium the particles in the medium are displaced from equilibrium the disturbance of a wave is an organized motion of the particles in the mediumWave Speed v the speed at which the disturbance travels outward through the mediumoA wave transfers energy but it does not transfer any material or substance outward from the sourceoThe medium as a whole does not moveovstringTsm where mmass of stringlength of string in kgmom is called linear densityoThe wave speed is a property of the medium as it depends on the restoring forces within the medium but not at all on the shape or size of the pulse how the pulse was generated or how far it has traveledOneDimensional WavesSnapshot Graph a graph that shows the waves displacement as a function of position at a single instant of time it tells us where the wave is and how it varies with position but only at one instant of timeHistory Graph a graph that shows the waves displacement as a function of time at a single position in space it tells the history of that particular point in the medium and tells us how things look at all times but only one position in spaceThe snapshot graph and the history graph portray complementary informationSnapshot graph is drawn Dyvs x while the history graph is drawn Dy vs timeLongitudinal Waves Graphs the snapshot graph is a graph of Dx versus xDisplacement at Time t of a Particle at Position x where and whenDxtoD is the perpendicular displacement Dy of a point on the stringoD is the longitudinal displacement Dx of a small volume of fluid for a sound wave
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