# Shared Flashcard Set

## Details

Topic 4 - Oscillations and Waves
IB Physics Terminology
32
Physics
03/09/2014

Term
 Displacement (for waves) *
Definition
 distance a particle moves in a particular direction from its mean (equilibrium) position
Term
 Amplitude *
Definition
 maximum displacement from the mean position
Term
 Frequency (f) *
Definition
 number of oscillations per unit time
Term
 Period (T) *
Definition
 time taken for one complete oscillation (cycle) (OR: time taken for one cycle to pass a given point)
Term
 Phase Difference *
Definition
 difference in phase between two points
Term
 Simple Harmonic Motion *
Definition
 motion that takes place when the acceleration of an object is proportional to its displacement from its equilibrium position and is always directed toward its equilibrium position (NOTE: this motion is defined by the equation a=-ω2x)
Term
 Damping
Definition
 involves a force that is always in the opposite direction to the direction of motion of the oscillating particle (NOTE: this force is a dissipative force)
Term
 Critical Damping
Definition
 when a resistive force is applied to an oscillating system that causes the particle to return to zero displacement in a minimum amount of time
Term
 Natural Frequency of Vibration
Definition
 when a system is displaced from equilibrium and allowed to oscillate freely, it will do so at its natural frequency of vibration
Term
 Forced Oscillations
Definition
 a system may be forced to oscillate at any given frequency by an outside driving force that is applied to it
Term
 Resonance *
Definition
 a transfer of energy in which a system is subject to an oscillating force that matches the natural frequency of the system resulting in a large amplitude of vibration
Term
 Wave Pulse *
Definition
 single oscillation or disturbance in a medium
Term
 Continuous Progressive (Traveling) Wave *
Definition
 series of periodic pulses (NOTE: involves a transfer of energy) (NOTE: each point on the wave has the same amplitude)
Term
 Transverse Wave *
Definition
 wave in which the direction of motion of the energy transfer (the wave) is perpendicular to the direction of motion of the particles of the medium (NOTE: light waves are transverse) (NOTE: transverse waves cannot be propagated in gases)
Term
 Longitudinal Wave *
Definition
 wave in which the direction of motion of the energy transfer (the wave) is parallel to the direction of motion of the particles of the medium (NOTE: sound waves are longitudinal)
Term
 Wavefront
Definition
 collection of neighboring points on a wave that are in phase
Term
 Ray
Definition
 line drawn perpendicular to a wavefront indicating the direction of motion of the energy transfer
Term
 Crest
Definition
 top of a transverse wave
Term
 Trough
Definition
 bottom of a transverse wave
Term
 Compression
Definition
 area of high pressure in a longitudinal wave
Term
 Rarefaction
Definition
 area of low pressure (expansion) in a longitudinal wave
Term
 Wavelength (?) *
Definition
 shortest distance along the wave between two points in phase with one another (OR: distance traveled by the wave in one period)
Term
 Wave Speed (v) *
Definition
 speed of transfer of the energy of the wave
Term
 Intensity (I) *
Definition
 power received per unit area (NOTE: for a wave, its intensity is proportional to the square of its amplitude)
Term
 Law of Reflection
Definition
 The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection when both angles are measured with respect to the normal line
Term
 Snell’s Law *
Definition
 The ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction is a constant, for a given frequency.
Term
 Refractive Index (Index of Refraction) (n) *
Definition
 the ratio of the speed of the wave in the refracted medium to the speed of the wave in the incident medium (the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of refraction)
Term
 Diffraction
Definition
 the bending of a wave around an obstacle or the spreading of a wave through an opening (NOTE: diffraction is only noticeable when the size of the opening is smaller than or on the same order of the size of the wavelength)
Term
 Principle of Superposition *
Definition
 When two waves meet, the resultant displacement is the vector sum of the displacements of the component waves.
Term
 Constructive Interference
Definition
 superposition of two waves which are in phase with each other
Term
 Destructive Interference
Definition
 superposition of two waves which are out of phase with each other
Term
 Path Difference
Definition
 difference in the distances two waves must travel from their sources to a given point
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