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Does Wave Refraction Change Wave Direction or Alignment

  1. Mar 16, 2016 #1
    I can't seem to find anything online that talks about this distinction. I understand how when the water gets shallower that part of the wave gets slowed down so the overall alignment parallels with the shore. However, I wouldn't think that would change the actual direction of the wave. I need a detailed explanation on why I'm probably wrong.
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  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2016 #2
    The energy is flowing at right angles to the alignment. In this respect, your diagram is incorrect on the sides of the promontory.
     
  4. Mar 16, 2016 #3

    mfb

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    The alignment and the direction of the wave are the same thing.

    It is identical to light going through a medium like glass.
     
  5. Mar 16, 2016 #4
    I was talking about the alignment of the crest relative to the shore and the direction that the wave form traveled.
     
  6. Mar 16, 2016 #5

    mfb

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    Yes, and they are the same thing. Waves travel orthogonal to their crests/wavefronts.
     
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