High School Physics : Understanding the Concept of Waves

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Physics

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Waves

Two waves, each with an amplitude of  are superimposed with constructive interference such that they are in phase. What is the resultant amplitude?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When two waves are superimposed, the interference can either be constructive or destructive. In this case, the interference is constructive and the waves are in phase, which means we add the amplitudes together.

Since each wave has an amplitude of , our new amplitude will be .

Example Question #1 : Waves

Two waves, one with an amplitude of  and the other of  are superimposed with destructive interference. What is the resultant amplitude?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

When two waves are superimposed, the interference can be either constructive or destructive. In this case the interference is destructive, which means our resultant amplitude will be the difference of the two given amplitudes.

That means our new amplitude will be .

Example Question #1 : Understanding The Concept Of Waves

Two identical waves are superimposed with destructive interference. What will happen to the resulting wave?

Possible Answers:

It will be still. There will be no wave.

It will be twice as large as each original wave.

The two waves will pass through each other without problem.

It will be half as large as each original wave.

Correct answer:

It will be still. There will be no wave.

Explanation:

When two waves are superimposed with destructive interference, they cancel each other out. Since these two waves are identical, they will completely cancel each other out and there will be no wave. It will be still.

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