Unformatted text preview: Light Terms and Formulae Terms Phase  In a harmonic function, the phase the argument of the sine or cosine function. In general it is given by: ψ ( x , t ) = ( kx σt + ε ) , where ε is called the initial phase. The phase determines whether the wave is at a peak or trough or somewhere in between at a particular point in space and time. Amplitude  The maximum disturbance, or the maximum displacement of the particles of the medium from their equilibrium position. This is given by the constant term preceding the sine or cosine in a harmonic wave. Wavelength  The wavelength of a wave is denoted λ and is the distance in space from one peak to any adjacent peak, one trough to any adjacent trough, or indeed from any one point to a similar point on an adjacent cycle. In other words, it is the number of units of length per complete wave cycle. Wavenumber  Denoted k , the wavenumber is the constant that appears in the expression for the phase (usually the coefficient of x ). It is defined as )....
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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.
 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Light

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