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 The Nature of a Wave

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مُساهمةموضوع: The Nature of a Wave   الأحد أبريل 20, 2008 10:45 am

?What is a Wave
So waves are everywhere. But what makes a wave a wave? What characteristics, properties, or behaviors are shared by all the phenomenon which we typically characterize as being a wave? How can waves be described in a manner that allows us to understand their basic nature and qualities?

A wave can be described as a disturbance that travels through a medium from one location to another location. Consider a slinky wave as an example of a wave. When the slinky is stretched from end to end and is held at rest, it assumes a natural position known as the equilibrium or rest position. The coils of the slinky naturally assume this position, spaced equally far apart. To introduce a wave into the slinky, the first particle is displaced or moved from its equilibrium or rest position. The particle might be moved upwards or downwards, forwards or backwards; but once moved, it is returned to its original equilibrium or rest position. The act of moving the first coil of the slinky in a given direction and then returning it to its equilibrium position creates a disturbance in the slinky. We can then observe this disturbance moving through the slinky from one end to the other. If the first coil of the slinky is given a single back-and-forth vibration, then we call the observed motion of the disturbance through the slinky a slinky pulse. A pulse is a single disturbance moving through a medium from one location to another location. However, if the first coil of the slinky is continuously and periodically vibrated in a back-and-forth manner, we would observe a repeating disturbance moving within the slinky which endures over some prolonged period of time. The repeating and periodic disturbance which moves through a medium from one location to another is referred to as a wave.




?What is a Medium

But what is meant by the word medium? A medium is a substance or material which carries the wave. You have perhaps heard of the phrase news media. The news media refers to the various institutions (newspaper offices, television stations, radio stations, etc.) within our society which carry the news from one location to another. The news moves through the media. The media doesn't make the news and the media isn't the same as the news. The news media is merely the thing that carries the news from its source to various locations. In a similar manner, a wave medium is the substance which carries a wave (or disturbance) from one location to another. The wave medium is not the wave and it doesn't make the wave; it merely carries or transports the wave from its source to other locations. In the case of our slinky wave, the medium through which the wave travels is the slinky coils. In the case of a water wave in the ocean, the medium through which the wave travels is the ocean water. In the case of a sound wave moving from the church choir to the pews, the medium through which the sound wave travels is the air in the room. And in the case of the stadium wave, the medium through which the stadium wave travels is the fans who are in the stadium.


Particle-to-Particle Interaction

[color=blue]To fully understand the nature of a wave, it is important to consider the medium as a collection of interacting particles. In other words, the medium is composed of parts which are capable of interacting with each other. The interactions of one particle of the medium with the next adjacent particle allows the disturbance to travel through the medium. In the case of the slinky wave, the particles or interacting parts of the medium are the individual coils of the slinky. In the case of a sound wave in air, the particles or interacting parts of the medium are the individual molecules of air. And in the case of a stadium wave, the particles or interacting parts of the medium are the fans in the stadium.

Consider the presence of a wave in a slinky. The first coil becomes disturbed and begins to push or pull on the second coil; this push or pull on the second coil will displace the second coil from its equilibrium position. As the second coil becomes displaced, it begins to push or pull on the third coil; the push or pull on the third coil displaces it from its equilibrium position. As the third coil becomes displaced, it begins to push or pull on the fourth coil. This process continues in consecutive fashion, with each individual particle acting to displace the adjacent particle. Subsequently, the disturbance travels through the medium. The medium can be pictured as a series of particles connected by springs. As one particle moves, the spring connecting it to the next particle begins to stretch and apply a force to its adjacent neighbor. As this neighbor begins to move, the spring attaching this neighbor to its neighbor begins to stretch and apply a force on its adjacent neighbor.
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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: The Nature of a Wave   الأحد أبريل 20, 2008 10:46 am

إن شاء عجبكم ادري انجيليزي بس وش اسوي ..؟؟؟

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مُساهمةموضوع: رد: The Nature of a Wave   الثلاثاء مايو 20, 2008 4:03 am

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The Nature of a Wave
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