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Homework Help: Wavefront and wave - are they same?

  1. Aug 25, 2011 #1
    wavefront and wave -- are they same?

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Revered members,


    Are the terms wavefront and wave are similar?
    For example, in my attachment AC is incident wavefront. Perpendicular lines drawn from A and C, are incident waves. So those blue lines are mentioned as incident waves. May i get help from this forum to know the difference between wavefront and wave

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2011 #2

    kuruman

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    Re: wavefront and wave -- are they same?

    The picture shows an incident wave (going in) and a scattered wave (coming out). Each of these waves has (infinitely) many wavefronts. A harmonic wave (sines and cosines) is determined by its phase. The wavefront of a harmonic consists of all the connected points in space at a given time where the harmonic wave has the same phase. Wavefronts that are separated in space by a wavelength, have the same phase.

    Does this answer your question or did I manage to confuse you even more?
     
  4. Aug 26, 2011 #3
    Re: wavefront and wave -- are they same?

    Thanks for the reply. But i dont understand anything. Sorry sir
     
  5. Aug 26, 2011 #4

    PeterO

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    Re: wavefront and wave -- are they same?

    At the beach, waves approach the shore at approximately 90 degrees. The wave-fronts are parallel to the beach.
    One could argue that a surfer rides a wave front, not a wave.
     
  6. Aug 26, 2011 #5

    tiny-tim

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    in maths and physics, a wave covers the whole of space (or the whole river, or whatever)

    but in ordinary English, a wave is just one continuous crest of the whole thing …

    so a wave (eg on the sea) in ordinary English is the same as a wavefront in maths and physics :wink:
     
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