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What is phase?

  1. Jul 21, 2012 #1
    Hey, im self taught and by no means an expert, but have a decent understanding of the standard model. im looking looking for a little clarification on what exactly a phase, or phase shift is. also perhaps a definition of what a dimension is... as i understand them, a dimension is movement, or the freedom of movement in the direction of that dimension.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you referring to the phase of a wave?

    As for dimension, take a look at a couple of common definitions from wikipedia:


    Did that help at all?
  4. Jul 22, 2012 #3


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    Gold Member

    Phase in sinusoidal functions or in waves has two different, but closely related, meanings. One is the initial angle of a sinusoidal function at its origin and is sometimes called phase offset. Another usage is the fraction of the wave cycle which has elapsed relative to the origin.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_(waves [Broken])

    This site has an excellent overview for your learning pleasure, plus some great animation to demonstrate the concept of phase of sinusoidal waves.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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