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Homework Help: Travelling harmonic Waves

  1. May 21, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Could anyone explain to me what exactly the wave number (k) represents and what it means in the equation 'cause it's kind of confusing me...Also, there's also the phase constant that i don't really understand as well: phase difference= k(deltax)-w(delta t)...One last confusion, is it possible for a transverse wave to travel in the negative x direction (positive w value) while the particle velocity is positive? Thanks

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Wave number basically represents the number of times a wave oscillates in a given distance. It's the spatial equivalent of frequency (which itself is the number of times a wave oscillates in a given time).

    As for the phase constant, in a sense it's a way of keeping track of a particular position on a wave. There's an image on Wikipedia that might be helpful to you.
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