What exactly determines the energy of a wave? the intensity? or the frequency?

  1. I am taking AS level Physics rite now, and wanted to know what exactly determines the energy of a wave. Well since I have recently learn of stationary waves(sound waves) being standing. I know that they are formed by the superimposition of the reflected waves on the incident waves. This causes the amplitude to cancel out, and become zero. So intuitively I guess the frequency decides a waves energy, because if intensity did, then in a stationary wave, the amplitudes canceling out would make the intensity nil as well(I=ÎșA6^2), so this will make the sound stop, which it clearly does not.
    So is this reasoning right?
  2. jcsd
  3. It depends on the context actually. In terms of mechanical waves, for example a water wave ripple in a pond, more energy is carried by the wave for high amplitudes. Photons are another type of wave, but they carry energy in their frequency. A sound wave is a mechanical wave, and so the amplitude determines the energy of the wave.
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