Chapter 17 Notes

# Chapter 17 Notes - The principle of linear superposition...

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The principle of linear superposition states that when two or more waves are present simultaneously at the same place, the resultant disturbance is the sum of the disturbances from the individual waves. Constructive interference occurs at a point when two waves meet there crest-to-crest and trough-to-trough, thus reinforcing each other. Destructive interference occurs when the waves meet crest-to-trough and cancel each other. When the waves meet crest-to-crest and trough-to-trough, they are exactly in phase. When they meet crest-to-trough, they are exactly out of phase. Diffraction is the bending of a wave around an obstacle or the edges of an opening. The angle through which the wave bends depends on the ratio of the wavelength λ of the wave to the width D of the opening; the greater the ratio / D , the greater the angle. Beats are the periodic variations in amplitude that arise from the linear superposition of two waves that have slightly different frequencies. When the waves are
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