1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Wave Equation After Reflection

  1. Apr 9, 2013 #1
    What do the components of the following equation represent :


    To be clear, this represents a wave of the form Acos(kx-wt) after being reflected off a wall.

    I understand that the ∅ represents the phase change of the wave after hitting the wall. The wt is now positive instead of negative because it is travelling in the opposite direction.

    Is this a correct description or have I missed something out ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Seems about right. But I would point out that the actual reflected wave would be something like, [itex]A\cos\left(-kx+\omega t + \phi'\right)[/itex] to actually signify that the wave is moving in the negative x direction due to the reflection. One can then use the properties of the cosine to flip the sign of the argument and absorb the sign change in \phi' into \phi.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook