AP Physics Chapter 15 Study Guide
Traveling Waves and Sound

The Wave Model

Mechanical Waves - A mechanical wave is a disturbance that travels through some material or substance called the medium for the wave.

Note: The medium as a whole does not travel with the wave.

Note: A wave transfers energy, but it does not transfer any material or substance outward from the source.

Electromagnetic and Matter Waves

Electromagnetic Waves - Electromagnetic radiation (sometimes abbreviated EMR) takes the form of self-propagating waves in a vacuum or in matter. EM radiation has an electric and magnetic field component which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and to the direction of energy propagation.

Matter Waves - In quantum mechanics, the matter wave, or de Broglie wave, is the wave of matter.

Transverse and Longitudinal Waves

Transverse Waves - A transverse wave is a moving wave that consists of oscillations occurring perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer.

Transverse Plane Wave

Transverse Circular Wave

Longitudinal Waves - Longitudinal waves are waves that have vibrations along or parallel to their direction of travel; that is, waves in which the motion of the medium is in the same direction as the motion of the wave.

Longitudinal Plane Wave

Longitudinal Circular Wave

Traveling Waves

Waves on a String

Sound Waves

Wave Speed in a Spring

Speed of Sound in a Gas

Description of Waves

Wave Speed

Sound and Light Waves

Light and Other Electromagnetic Waves

Intensity of a spherical wave

Loudness of Sound

Decibel Scale

The Doppler Effect and Shock Waves

Doppler Effect Equations

Shock Waves