Light as a Wave - Light as a Wave The Wave Equations A...

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Light as a Wave The Wave Equations A traveling wave is a self-propagating disturbance of a medium that moves through space transporting energy and momentum. Examples include waves on strings, waves in the ocean, and sound waves. Waves also have the property that they are a continuous entity that exists over the an entire region of space; this distinguishes them from particles, which are localized objects. There are two basic types of waves: longitudinal waves, in which the medium is displaced in the direction of propagation (sound waves are of this type), and transverse waves, in which the medium is displaced in a direction perpendicular to the direction of propagation (electromagnetic waves and waves on a string are examples). It is important to remember that the individual 'bits' of the medium do not advance with the wave; they oscillate about an equilibrium position. Consider, for instance, a wave on a string: if the string is given a flick upwards from one end, any particular bit of string will be observed to move upwards and downwards, but not in the
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Light as a Wave - Light as a Wave The Wave Equations A...

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