Standing Waves vs Traveling Waves

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Summary:
Would someone explain it, including examples?
Why is a standing wave in a string not moving toward you like an ocean wave? How do photons travel from the sun as waves? What's the difference?
 

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  • #2
kuruman
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I think you should at least make an attempt to answer these questions based on some web research. Then we can answer specific questions that were raised during the course of your research. Giving you an answer when you have not built a background is pointless.
 
  • #3
Nugatory
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How do photons travel from the sun as waves?
Photons do not travel as waves. They're a purely quantum mechanical phenomenon, and aren't involved in the description of light as electromagnetic waves at all.

You will want to start by getting a thorough understanding of the classical behavior of waves (including standing and travelling waves, the first part fo your question). Until then, you should try hard to forget that you ever heard the word "photon".
 
  • #4
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Sorry. I admit I was being lazy. I think I get standing waves vs EM waves, but I don't get ocean waves. Why/how does a wind wave move laterally when the water molecules are moving vertically?
 
  • #5
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Also, I just realized there's more I don't get. How does providing energy at, say, the end of a string produce a standing wave along its entire length if there is no lateral motion?
 
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kuruman
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Also, I just realized there's more I don't get. How does providing energy at, say, the end of a string produce a standing wave along its entire length if there is no lateral motion?
When you pluck a guitar string, does your finger displace only the point where it touches the string or the entire string? Try answering your own questions by asking intermediate questions on the path to the final answer.
 
  • #7
vanhees71
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It's also not standing waves vs. em. waves. Also em. waves can be standing waves, e.g., the em. waves in a cavity.
 
  • #8
nsaspook
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Also, I just realized there's more I don't get. How does providing energy at, say, the end of a string produce a standing wave along its entire length if there is no lateral motion?

Watch this video.
 
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  • #10
hutchphd
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Water waves are fun to study but are somewhat different. Actually a bit of ocean water travels around an ellipse as the wave crest passes. But look at them a little later!!
 

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