# Standing Waves vs Traveling Waves

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• sayetsu
In summary: Then you can ask about the stuff I don't understand.In summary, a standing wave in a string is not moved by the ocean wave because the photons do not travel as a wave. The difference is that photons are involved in the description of light as electromagnetic waves while waves are not.
sayetsu
TL;DR 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?

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.

sayetsu said:
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 traveling waves, the first part fo your question). Until then, you should try hard to forget that you ever heard the word "photon".

hutchphd
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?

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?

sayetsu said:
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.

It's also not standing waves vs. em. waves. Also em. waves can be standing waves, e.g., the em. waves in a cavity.

davenn
sayetsu said:
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.

sophiecentaur, Motore and davenn
nsaspook said:
Watch this video.

The classic

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!

vanhees71

## What are standing waves and traveling waves?

Standing waves are a type of wave that appears to be standing still, as opposed to moving through space. They are created when two waves with the same frequency and amplitude travel in opposite directions and interfere with each other. Traveling waves, on the other hand, are waves that move through space and transfer energy from one point to another.

## What is the main difference between standing waves and traveling waves?

The main difference between standing waves and traveling waves is that standing waves do not move through space, while traveling waves do. Standing waves are created by the interference of two waves, while traveling waves are created by a disturbance in a medium.

## What are some examples of standing waves and traveling waves?

Examples of standing waves include sound waves in a closed pipe, like in a flute or organ, and electromagnetic waves between two parallel mirrors. Examples of traveling waves include ocean waves, sound waves in air, and light waves.

## How do the amplitudes of standing waves and traveling waves compare?

The amplitudes of standing waves and traveling waves can vary. In standing waves, the amplitude remains constant at different points along the wave, while in traveling waves, the amplitude can change as the wave moves through space. However, in both types of waves, the amplitude is directly related to the energy carried by the wave.

## What are some practical applications of standing waves and traveling waves?

Standing waves are used in musical instruments, such as stringed instruments, to create different notes and tones. They are also used in medical imaging techniques, such as ultrasound, to create images of internal structures. Traveling waves have a wide range of applications, including communication technologies, such as radio and cell phones, and in various industries, such as oil and gas exploration and earthquake monitoring.

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