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Lec1 - PH113 Lecture Notes Lior M Burko University of...

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PH113 Lecture Notes Lior M. Burko, University of Alabama in Huntsville c Lior M. Burko for all original materials (sources for nonoriginal materials available upon request) 1
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Waves Physics includes only local interactions. The modern viewpoint excludes action at-a- distance, unlike Newton’s viewpoint, say. Waves are one of the mechanisms, a very important mechanism, by which a disturbance travels from one place to another. The other common mechanisms are conduction (e.g., electric currents) and convection (e.g., the bulk motion of boiling water in a pot), but we will not discuss these other mechanism here, only waves, also known as radiation. Ex. As an example for the creation of a disturbance at one place, having a remote e ff ect, consider a dog. You step on its tail, and then, on the other side of the dog, it barks. In this example the propagation of the disturbance is not that of a wave. Ex. As an example for a wave, consider just the tail, and the dog is wagging it.
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