# Homework Help: Wavefront and wave - are they same?

1. Aug 25, 2011

### logearav

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:

• ###### reflection.gif
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2. Aug 25, 2011

### kuruman

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?

3. Aug 26, 2011

### logearav

Re: wavefront and wave -- are they same?

Thanks for the reply. But i dont understand anything. Sorry sir

4. Aug 26, 2011

### PeterO

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.

5. Aug 26, 2011

### tiny-tim

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