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Question about Waves

  1. Dec 25, 2012 #1

    san203

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    Gold Member

    What is a Wave?

    Like,if i think of a particle doing a SHM, then i imagine a Particle going up and down continuously and its graph is a sinusoidal wave. But in case of Mechanical Waves, i am not really able to get the picture. Hence my question,

    Is the Wave just a Sin Graph of a single particle or is it the way the particles displace themselves which in turn gives a wave like pattern?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2012 #2
    It's a solution to the wave equation. As for what it "is", physics can't answer that. It's a model, sure, but it happens to describe the very real phenomenon of anything which is a function of position and time like y(kx-vt). Philosophy must answer the rest, not physics.
     
  4. Dec 25, 2012 #3

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

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