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Waves Notes

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Unit 2: 12 Waves

WAVES Progressive Waves transfer energy without any transfer of matter by the vibration of a medium. Classification of waves;
- MECHANICAL WAVES involve the vibration of particles.
- ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES involve the vibration of electric and magnetic fields. or
- TRANSVERSE WAVES have vibrations perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer.
- LONGITUDINAL WAVES have vibrations parallel to the direction of energy transfer. EXAMPLES

Mechanical

Electromagnetic

Transverse

Water Waves Seismic Waves Slinky/Spring

Light

Longitudinal

Seismic P Waves Sound Slinky/Spring

POLARISATION; UNPOLARISED LIGHT sources produce light waves in which the direction of oscillation of the electric field is constantly changing.

POLAROID FILTERS only transmit light that his its electric
field oscillating in a particular direction.

POLARISATION OCCURS ONLY WITH TRANSVERSE WAVES (since transverse waves oscillate perpendicular to the direction energy transfer). POLARISATION is the only phenomenon which can be used to distinguish between longitudinal and transverse waves Applications of Polarisation

1. To reduce glare - unpolarised light can be partially polarised when reflected off a surface. A polaroid filter on sunglasses etc can cut out this polarised light, reducing glare.

2. Photo-elastic Stress Analysis - a transparent object viewed between crossed polaroid filters shows a series of coloured lines. These lines indicate regions of stress, with the greatest stress being where the lines are most concentrated. Engineers use this phenomenon to identify regions of stress in structures by building models in perspex and then viewed the stress lines.

3. Transmission of TV/Radio Signals - Signals sent out from dishes can be given different angles of polarised light so that the signals do not interfere with each other. For examples, horizontally polarised signals will not interfere with vertically polarised light.

PHYSICS AS NOTES

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