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Amplitude ? Magnitude ?

  1. Apr 8, 2004 #1
    Amplitude ?? Magnitude ??

    Dear all,

    would you tell me what is the difference of Amplitude and Magnitude ??

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2004 #2
    In what context?
  4. Apr 8, 2004 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Amplitude is the maximum displacement from equilibrium in a sinusoidal wave.
    Magnitude is just the value of something; typically refering to scalar quantities.

    It's sort of hard to describe magnitude.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2004
  5. Apr 8, 2004 #4
    Amplitude is also the maximum value of the magnitude. The magnitude is simply the absolute value of the displacement, and since the amplitude is the maximum value of the displacement, the amplitude will be the maximum of the magnitude.

    If you took a tape measure and measured the distance between the equilibrium point and the current position for a given time for a wave, that's the magnitude.

    If you took a tape measure and measured how far away the wave gets over all time, that's the amplitude.

  6. Apr 9, 2004 #5


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    Homework Helper

    In QM, amplitude can be complex valued.
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