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What is the phase difference ?

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    When a wave travels through a medium, individual particles execute a periodic motion given by the equation : y = 4.0 sin[ pi/4(2 t + x/8)]

    where y and x in meters and t in seconds the phase difference at any given instant are 20.0 m apart is
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2008 #2
    The phase difference is just the difference in the "angle" (ie the values inside the sinusoid). In this case the time is the same, and can be ignored. Also since you're only worried about the distance (not absolute position) you may as well set one of the particles at x1=0 and other at x2=200 (you could have made the distances arbitrary, as long as x2-x1=200).

    To calculate the phase difference you just grind out the math x2/8-x1/8. Just note that this will give you a phase difference in radians.


  4. Aug 2, 2008 #3
    thank you very much I have solved the problem
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