As was noted in Chap. 1, light exhibits a dual nature: At times, light behaves as a particle, and at other times, as a wave. In this chapter, we will examine the properties of waves and introduce the wave nature of light.
Glossary of Terms
Maximum displacement from equilibrium in a wave.
Point of maximum amplitude due to constructive interference.
Variation in the speed of a wave with frequency (or wavelength). The spreading of light into a spectrum of different colors.
Change in the frequency of waves due to motion of the source, the observer, or both.
Number of waves per second.
Unit of frequency; equals one wave per second.
Superposition of two or more waves. Constructive interference occurs when the waves are in phase and therefore combine to form a larger wave; destructive interference occurs when the waves are out of phase and partially (or fully) cancel each other.
The resultant displacement of two waves at a point is the sum of the displacements that the two waves would separately produce at that point.
Point of minimum amplitude due to destructive interference of two waves.
An interference pattern formed by two waves of the same frequency moving in opposite directions; the pattern has alternative minima (nodes) and maxima (antinodes).
The relationship between wave speed, frequency, and wavelength: v = fλ.
Light consists of electromagnetic waves.
Distancebetween adjacent crests or adjacent troughs.
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