Waves, Light and Lasers Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Waves, Light and Lasers Deck (23):

In refraction why does the wave change direction

It is changing speed, it enters substance of different density


Diffraction is when..

A wave spreads out, it has passed an opening about the size of the wave's wavelength
It can also happen if a wave passes an obstacle


Short or long wavelength on high frequency waves



When electromagnetic waves are used for communication, the size of the reciever has to be similar size as what?

The wavelength


What are optical fibres

How does light travel down them and what does this depend on

Explain multiplexing

Long,flexible transparent glass or plastic fibres
Light travels by reflecting off the sides (TOTAL INTERNAL REFLECTION) this depends on the CRITICAL ANGLE of the substance
You can use multiplexing, sending many different messages along fibre at same time


Total internal reflection can only happen inside..

A material that is more optically dense than the material surrounding it


What are lasers and what can they be used for

They are narrow beams of light with single wavelength
Monochromatic and coherent
The light beams are in phase and do not diverge with same frequency
Can be used for guiding weapons and cutting materials


What is the relation between energy and waves out of phase

What must the wave be like in order to be in phase

Waves out of phase transmit less overall energy

Wave must be monochromatic snd coherent


How do Compact Discs work

Pits are on underside of CD where digital information is stored
CD player spins it and laser light is reflected from pits

The reflected pulses are detected as a digital signal (on and offs)and turned to electrical signals then transmitted to an amplifier


What happens when ray of light hits a shiny surface

It is reflected. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection


What happens if light enters (denser) substance equal to or smaller than critical angle

Light escapes and will be refracted


What happens if light enters (denser) substance at angle larger than critical angle

Total internal reflection


Each type of electromagnetic radiation is a transverse wave that:

Travels in straight lines
Has same speed through a vaccum


What are radio waves used for in communication

Tv and radio stations


What are microwaves used for in communication

To communicate using satellites


What are infrared and light waves used for in communication

Communicating using optical fibres


Advantage/disadvantage of using light for communication

Fast with small signal loss but sometimes requires optical fibres


Advantage/disadvantage of using radio waves for communication

Can travel further via satellites of necessary but signal can be lost or weakened in the atmosphere


Advantage/disadvantage of using electrical signals for communication

Reliable and can be boosted if weak but require wires

Signal can be lost through resistance


How are wave based sensors such as telescopes and optical microscopes affected by diffraction

Diffraction limits the smallest thing they can detect
Two stars close together will be seen as a single star, diffraction makes light from the two stars spread and overlap


Describe what each type of electromagnetic radiation has in common

All transverse waves, travel in straight line
Same speed through space (vaccum)


Describe how types of electromagnetic radiation are different

Different wavelength and frequency


Electromagnetic waves (including light) are faster than other ways of communication

Describe an early communication system

Morse code- digital communication
Series of on-off signals
Each letter of alphabet as dots and dashes