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Homework Help: Optics: Determine which of the following describe traveling waves

  1. Oct 9, 2011 #1
    I'm really rusty on waves. What characteristics am I looking for? With respect to its variables, doesn't a valid wave equation have to contain only linear terms in its argument(s)?

    http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n149/camarolt4z28/IMG_20111009_211512.jpg?t= [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2011 #2

    ehild

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    Yes, a wave has the form f(ax-bt).

    ehild
     
  4. Oct 13, 2011 #3
    Yes, I know that.

    It appears (d) is valid, but what about (a), (b), and (c)? I guess I'm not sure what the squares do. Of course, I recognize the form of the equation without the squares.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  5. Oct 13, 2011 #4

    SammyS

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    Having (ax±bt)2 shouldn't matter. The squaring can be considered to be part of function, f .
     
  6. Oct 13, 2011 #5
    Same goes for cos2, too?
     
  7. Oct 13, 2011 #6

    SammyS

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    Yes.
     
  8. Oct 14, 2011 #7
    What about (b)? It has az2 - bt2.
     
  9. Oct 14, 2011 #8

    ehild

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    If it is a travelling wave, in what direction does it travel? +z or -z?

    ehild
     
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