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Ocean waves parallel to the shore

  • #1

Homework Statement


Explain, using Huygen's Principle, why ocean waves break parallel to the shore.

Homework Equations


None

The Attempt at a Solution


Okay, I know that the speed of the waves decreases as the water gets shallower. Therefore, since the frequency is the same, the wavelength decreases. The water is bent towards the normal to the shore, this breaking approximately parallel to it. But how do I bring in Huygen's Principle?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
NascentOxygen
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The water is bent towards the normal to the shore
Is that correct?

How to explain the wave phenomenon observed?

Huygens's Principle:
every point on a propagating wavefront serves as the source of spherical secondary wavelets, such that the wavefront at some later time is the envelope of these wavelets. If the propagating wave has a frequency, f, and is transmitted through the medium at a speed, v, then the secondary wavelets will have the same frequency and speed.
 
  • #3
haruspex
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The water is bent towards the normal to the shore
Water doesn't bend. Can you express that a bit more accurately?
 

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