IB Diploma Physics: Wave Motion (HL)
This course covers Topic 9 of the IB Diploma Physics program, which is teh Additional HL Material for Wave Behavior.
This unit will look at what happens when waves interact with each other in a very detailed manner.
Simple Harmonic Motion
Insights: The equation for simple harmonic motion (SHM) can be solved analytically and numerically. Physicists use such solutions to help them to visualize the behaviour of the oscillator. The use of the equations is very powerful as any oscillation can be described in terms of a combination of harmonic oscillators. Numerical modelling of oscillators is important in the design of electrical circuits.
Diffraction and Interference
Development of theories: When light passes through an aperture the summation of all parts of the wave leads to an intensity pattern that is far removed from the geometrical shadow that simple theory predicts. (1.9)
Curiosity: Observed patterns of iridescence in animals, such as the shimmer of peacock feathers, led scientists to develop the theory of thin film interference. Serendipity: The first laboratory production of thin films was accidental.
Improved technology: The Rayleigh criterion is the limit of resolution. Continuing advancement in technology such as large diameter dishes or lenses or the use of smaller wavelength lasers pushes the limits of what we can resolve.
Technology: Although originally based on physical observations of the pitch of fast moving sources of sound, the Doppler effect has an important role in many different areas such as evidence for the expansion of the universe and generating images used in weather reports and in medicine.