Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a wave! No! It’s SUPERPOSITION!

superman logo We have begun our studies of waves by looking at the various types of waves: longitudinal, transverse and torsional (twisting). We have also looked at the common properties of all waves. We have also looked at the definition of a wave, as a way of transferring energy without the transfer of mass. We have also begun to look at what happens when waves interact with each other. The following video is a look at what happens when many waves interfere constructively in a structure.

superpositionAs you can see, they can have devastating effects! When two waves pass through each other, we call that superposition. There are two types of result when two waves interact – constructive interference is when the resultant wave (from the additional of the interacting waves) has a greater amplitude and destructive interference when it has lesser amplitude.

Here are the notes from our last class, and here are the supplementary notes for the next section. Be careful when reading about superposition from sources on the interent – there are at least 5 “principles of superposition”, and you only want the topic about wave interactions!

See you in class

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4 Comments on “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a wave! No! It’s SUPERPOSITION!”

  1. Han Zhou Says:

    Hey Mr. G, what up?
    Nice video, in it I’m assuming that the wave started when the air particles blown by the strong gale first hit the side of the bridge. When the bridge was swaying it looked like a transverse wave to me; so why did the bridge sway up and down rather than the bridge just passing on the energy longitudinally to the air particles on the other side of the bridge?
    Anyway, I’ll catch you in double physics tomorrow, have a good one.


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