# Phase of Waves

1. Nov 23, 2005

### mtongton

"Phase" of waves. what does it actually mean. we can understand the meaning of it, but if some one who not learn physics before, they don't know what is it. So how can we explain and define the word for every one understand it.

2. Nov 23, 2005

### Tide

Everyone is familiar with water waves. The phase of a wave, such as a water wave, simply identifies some part of the wave - crest, trough, node etc.

3. Nov 25, 2005

### photon79

I will try to explain it in my words.

The word "Phase" when used as such doesnt include much information than when used with "Phase shift".
Ok, phase denotes the state of the wave at a given time and phase shift is used to compare the instantaneous states of two or more waves. suppose a wave started at some point and travelled just one crest of a full wave and the next wave started now, here we can say the phase shift is pie/2. If the second wave had started after a full cycle (a crest and a trough)of the first wave the phase shift is (pie) zero.