# Wave behavior. Basic behavior All waves follow the same laws and move in the same ways: they all can be refracted, scattered, absorbed, diffracted, and.

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Wave behavior

Basic behavior All waves follow the same laws and move in the same ways: they all can be refracted, scattered, absorbed, diffracted, and interfered with

Reflection Occurs when a wave meets an obstacle and bounces away from it. On smooth surfaces, the angle of the reflection is the angle at which the light meets the plane (this is called the angle of incidence) On rough surfaces, the light reflects in numerous directions (because the angle of incidence is varied) The angle of incidence = the angle of reflection

Refraction Occurs when waves move from one density of medium to another This distorts the waves The refraction of sunlight through atmosphere is an example of this; atmospheric refraction causes light from stars and the sun to curve

Dispersion Refraction varies based on the frequency of the wave being bent Prisms, for instance, disperse light into rainbows by separating each it into each of its frequencies; each color has its own frequency, so each color moves at a different rate, and as a result each color comes out at a different angle.

Diffraction Waves with longer wavelengths (lower frequencies) diffract more easily than waves with shorter wavelengths (higher frequencies) Diffraction is controlled by the size of the wavelength

Absorbtion Occurs when the medium is able to absorb the wave The energy of the wave is transferred to the medium; as a result, the wave vanishes For example: a room is ‘soundproof’ when it is lined with material capable of absorbing soundwaves.

Scattering Occurs when the pathway of a wave is diverted and resumes in multiple directions In light, this occurs when a photon is absorbed and immediately re-emitted Varies based on wave frequency and the size of the medium from which the wave scatters Scattering is what allows the sky to be blue: blue light has a shorter frequency than red light, so it is more scattered by molecules in the atmosphere

Interference Occurs when two or more waves meet They join, or ‘superimpose.’

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