Waves and Resonance

  • Jay Newman

Of all the types of waves we study, we are most familiar with water waves as seen in oceans, lakes, rivers, and bathtubs. We’re also familiar with waves created by air currents through fields of grasses or wheat. In reality, we constantly experience waves of various types. Sound, light, radio, and other forms of electromagnetic radiation surround us every moment of our lives and although we do not directly “see” their waves, aside from visible light, these phenomena can all be understood in terms of waves. Furthermore, we show later that matter also behaves as a wave and that our current quantum physics picture of the world is intimately connected with a mathematical description known as the wave function. Waves are thus the key to our understanding of nature on a fundamental level.

In this chapter we first return to the type of motion known as simple harmonic motion that we used to describe a mass on a spring in Chapter 3. Here we extend our previous discussions to include the...


Resonant Frequency Fundamental Frequency Standing Wave Wave Speed Harmonic Wave 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUnion CollegeSchenectadyUSA

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