# lec28 - Section 17.4 Reflection and transmission Goal...

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Section 17.4 Reflection and transmission Goal: Understand qualitatively what happens when a wave pulse encounters a boundary. Whenever a wave pulse encounters a boundary, its propagation is affected. How it is affected depends on the type of boundary encountered. Our ability to picture this is helped with the use of “magic” waves we pretend are coming from behind the boundary. Mathematically identical! If a wave pulse encounters a fixed boundary (such as a wall or something else impenetrable), it will be completely reflected (none of the wave makes it into the boundary). The reflected wave will have the same shape as the original wave, but it will be inverted (flipped over) and left-right reversed (since it is going the other way). (Look at Figures 17.16 and 17.18) If a wave pulse encounters a free boundary, like a loop around a pole that can slide up and down with the wave, it will still be completely reflected. The reflected wave will have the same shape as the original wave. It will still be left-right reversed, since it is still going to be going in the opposite direction. Unlike in the fixed boundary case, the reflected wave is not inverted. If a wave pulse encounters a boundary between two different mediums, the pulse is partially reflected and partially transmitted. There are two cases: 1) If the density of the medium on the transmitted side of the boundary is greater than the density of the medium on the reflected side, then the boundary acts somewhat like a

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## This note was uploaded on 05/04/2008 for the course PHYS 2054 taught by Professor Stewart during the Spring '08 term at Arkansas.

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lec28 - Section 17.4 Reflection and transmission Goal...

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