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# ch17 - CHAPTER 17 THE PRINCIPLE OF LINEAR SUPERPOSITION AND...

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CHAPTER 17 THE PRINCIPLE OF LINEAR SUPERPOSITION AND INTERFERENCE PHENOMENA CONCEPTUAL QUESTIONS ____________________________________________________________________________________________ 1. REASONING AND SOLUTION The principle of linear superposition states that when two or more waves are present simultaneously at the same place, the resultant wave is the sum of the individual waves. This principle does not imply that two sound waves, passing through the same place at the same time, always create a louder sound than either wave alone. The resultant wave pattern depends on the relative phases of the two sound waves when they meet. If two sound waves arrive at the same place at the same time, and they are exactly in phase, then the two waves will interfere constructively and create a louder sound than either wave alone. On the other hand, if two waves arrive at the same place at the same time, and they are exactly out of phase, destructive interference will occur; the net effect is a mutual cancellation of the sound. If the two sound waves have the same amplitude and frequency, they will completely cancel each other and no sound will be heard.

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