⭐️Topic SP4 - Waves Flashcards Preview

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What are transverse waves?

Waves where the particles move up and down at right angle to wave direction


Give some examples of transverse waves

Water waves, S waves and em waves


What are longitudinal waves?

Where particles in the material move parallel to the direction of wave travel


Give examples of longitudinal waves

Sound waves, p waves


What’s a difference between transverse and longitudinal waves?

Transverse waves don’t need a medium to travel through but longitudinal waves do


What is the wave frequency and it’s unit?

The number of waves passing a point each second in Hz


What does frequency determine for sound and light?

In sound, it determines the pitch and light it determines the colour


What is the period?

The length of time taken for wave to pass a given point


What is wavelength and give it’s unit?

The distance from one point of a wave to the same position on the next point of the wave in meters


What is amplitude and give the unit?

The maximum distance of a point on the wave away from its rest position. (Greater the amplitude, the louder the sound) Measured in meters


What is velocity of a wave?

The speed of a wave in the direction its travelling.


How do you calculate wave speed using distance and time?

Speed (m/s) = distance (m) / time (s)


How do you calculate wave speed in terms of frequency and wavelength?

Wave speed (m/s) = frequency (Hz) x wavelength (m)


Where does refraction of a light ray occur?

At the interface between the two mediums


When light from air to glass or water,

It refracts towards the normal


When light goes from a more dense medium to a less dense one,

It refracts away from the normal


Why does light refract when going from one media to another?

Because of the change in speed


What does it mean if light bends towards the normal?

It’s slowing down


How does the speed of light change when entering a less dense object

It speeds up and so refracts away from the normal


When does light not refract upon entering a different medium?

When it’s travelling along the normal


What does it mean when light is
A) reflected
C) absorbed
B) transmitted

A) the wave bounces off
B) the wave passes into the new material but changes the direction its travelling
C) the wave passes through the material and isn’t absorbed/reflected
D) the wave’s energy is transferred to the material


Why can a prism split up visible light?

Because each colour changes speed by different amounts when they go from a more dense medium to a less dense one (or vice versa)


What is an echo?

When a sound wave is reflected by a hard surface


What is the human range of hearing?

20 -20 000 Hz


What’s ultrasound?

Any sound above 20,000Hz


How does a sound wave affect a solid?

It changes the pressure in the surface causing the particles to vibrate


What kind of waves can vibrations in a solid be passed on as?

Both transverse and longitudinal waves


What determines how vibrations of different frequencies affect a solid?

The shape and properties if a solid


What are the steps to how sound waves travel through the ear?

1. Waves enter ear canal
2. Sound waves cause the ear drum to vibrate
3. Vibrations get passed into tiny bones
4. Vibrations pass onto the liquid of the
5. Tiny hairs in the cochlea detect
vibrations forming impulses
6. Impulses travel along the auditory neurone to reach the brain


What do the small bones in your ear do to the vibrations that came from the ear drum?

They amplify them