Units and Properties of Waves
Welcome to the title on the properties and definitions of waves. As with many areas of science, it is the units and definitions that are extremely important. For the most part, in this title we'll be discussing the basic properties that apply to all of the things that we loosely clump under the word 'waves'. In the strictest sense, mechanical waves - like water waves and sound waves - are not the same as electromagnetic waves such as light waves. However, most of the mathematics and reasoning of mechanical waves applies to light waves and vice versa.
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Curriculum and Exam Board Information
- describe, using simple wavefront diagrams, how waves are reflected and refracted, restricted to plane wavefronts, plane barriers and plane boundaries
- Diffraction of waves
- distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waves in terms of the motion of the particles of the medium
- Evidence for the Earth's layered structure from the paths and speeds of waves transmitted
- Movement of plates causing earthquakes, volcanoes and the formation of new rocks
- Plate tectonics
- recall and use the equation: v= f where: v is velocity, f is frequency, is wavelength
- recall and use the quantitative relationship between frequency, wavelength and speed of a wave
- recall examples of transverse and longitudinal waves
- recall the meaning of frequency, wavelength and amplitude of a wave
- Speed = wavelength x frequency
- understand that waves transfer energy from one point to another
- Waves transfer energy but not matter
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