Optics & Waves

A:

Wave speed is a measure of how fast a wave travels. It is calculated as a ratio of how far a wave travels to the time it takes the wave to travel that distance.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
  • What does the loudness of a sound depend on?

    Q: What does the loudness of a sound depend on?

    A: Loudness is a subjective measure of sound because it is dependent upon the qualities of the sound receptor. Although loudness is related to decibel levels, sound pressure, frequency, bandwidth and duration, the actual perception of the sound is the proper variable for determining loudness.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are examples of nonluminous objects?

    Q: What are examples of nonluminous objects?

    A: The moon and Earth are examples of non-luminous objects. Non-luminous objects become visible only when they reflect light produced by a luminous object. A luminous object, such as the sun, emits its own light, because it has its own source of energy.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the Doppler effect?

    Q: What is the Doppler effect?

    A: The Doppler effect is an observed shift in the frequency of a wave as the source of the emission moves relative to the observer. As a sound- or light-emitting object moves closer to an observer, the pitch of the emissions rises. As the object recedes, the pitch falls.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are the practical applications of refraction?

    Q: What are the practical applications of refraction?

    A: Refraction is the differential bending of light as it passes through a medium, and it is used in a wide variety of applications throughout industry and the sciences as well as in living bodies. Light refracted through an optical prism spreads out into a spectrum of its constituent colors and allows individual wavelengths to be examined on their own.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the speed of light in miles per second?

    Q: What is the speed of light in miles per second?

    A: The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. An object travelling at the speed of light would make approximately 7.5 rounds around the Earth in one second.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are the dangers of infrared waves?

    Q: What are the dangers of infrared waves?

    A: Infrared waves are dangerous because they can cause burns, skin irritation, dehydration, low blood pressure and eye damage. A form of heat radiation, infrared waves are most dangerous at high levels.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How does an echo occur?

    Q: How does an echo occur?

    A: An echo occurs when a sound wave reflects back towards its source after hitting a hard surface. Although the surface may absorb some of the sound, the remaining sound that is not absorbed continues moving, creating additional echoes by bouncing off surrounding objects until the sound is completely absorbed or dissipates.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the difference between loud and soft sounds?

    Q: What is the difference between loud and soft sounds?

    A: Loud sounds are sounds that are high in volume and soft sounds are those that are low in volume. Sound is a type of vibrating pressure that is transmitted in waves. The volume of a sound is directly determined by the amplitude of its sound waves, which is the height of a sound wave. The amplitude and volume of a sound increase as the height of the sound waves increases.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is a light ray?

    Q: What is a light ray?

    A: A light ray is a basic element in geometrical optics. It is a hypothetical construct that, from any point in space, indicates the propagation of light. The concept that light travels in straight lines led to the development of the light ray concept.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How does a bell make sound?

    Q: How does a bell make sound?

    A: As the clapper of the bell strikes its sides, it causes them to vibrate, setting up a disturbance in the equilibrium of the air surrounding the bell. This disturbance travels through the air in a wave form that humans know as sound.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How do sound waves travel?

    Q: How do sound waves travel?

    A: How Stuff Works explains that sound travels in mechanical waves, and these waves are disturbances that cause energy to move. The energy is then transported through a medium. Disturbances occur when an object vibrates. This vibration is caused by interconnected and interactive particles.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is a hand lens?

    Q: What is a hand lens?

    A: A hand lens is used to magnify items. Hand lenses are used in scientific research, police work and everyday life. Hand lenses are magnifying glasses small enough to be held in a hand and easy to manipulate.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How do convex mirrors work?

    Q: How do convex mirrors work?

    A: Convex mirrors work by reflecting parallel rays of light as if they all emanated from a single point somewhere behind the mirror. The distance between the actual surface of the mirror and this point depends on the level of curvature, with greater curvature resulting in lesser distance. Images in convex mirrors are distorted, with progressive compression of the image away from its center.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How does a kaleidoscope work?

    Q: How does a kaleidoscope work?

    A: A kaleidoscope works by reflecting light that bumps into a reflective surface such as a mirror. It has two or more mirrors placed at an angle to each other. The mirror assembly is surrounded by a case, with an eyehole at one end of the mirrors and a collection of objects at the other end.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How fast is supersonic speed?

    Q: How fast is supersonic speed?

    A: Supersonic speed is faster than the speed of sound, which is 768 miles per hour at sea level. Some familiar objects capable of traveling that quickly are bullets, whips and jet planes.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • When does the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begin?

    Q: When does the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begin?

    A: The Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begins after light energy is transformed into chemical energy by the cells of plants. The adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, molecules created power the Calvin cycle. The Calvin cycle uses the energy to create carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How does sound travel through a medium?

    Q: How does sound travel through a medium?

    A: Sound travels as a back-and-forth vibration of the particles of its medium. It is a longitudinal mechanical pressure wave that varies greatly in its speed of travel and the distance it remains coherent, dependent upon the medium. Sound in air travels relatively slowly and for a short distance, while sound in a solid, such as the primary waves of an earthquake, travel extremely quickly and to great distances.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Can sound travel through water?

    Q: Can sound travel through water?

    A: Although sound can travel through water, it will be distorted compared to sound traveling through air. As sound waves pass through the water, they are attenuated and slowed, leading to frequency warping and decreases in amplitude.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the speed of light in water?

    Q: What is the speed of light in water?

    A: The speed of light in water is approximately 225,000 km per second. While enormously fast, this is notably slower than the speed of light in a vacuum, which is 300,000 km per second.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How is light transmitted through glass?

    Q: How is light transmitted through glass?

    A: When light passes through glass, the photons in the light interact with the electrons in the glass. However, photons in visible light don't have enough energy in them to change the state of electrons in glass, so the light just passes through the glass.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Is sound louder in water?

    Q: Is sound louder in water?

    A: Sound is louder in water than in air. Sound travels as waves that bounce off objects. Sound waves travel five times faster in water than in air, and they travel farther.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under: