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Physics

Module 3: Waves and Thermodynamics

Reflection, Diffraction, Resonance and Superposition of Sound Waves

What is reflection, diffraction, resonance and superposition in term of sound waves?

In this post, we conduct investigations to analyse the reflection, diffraction, resonance and superposition of sound waves, as a part of the Prelim Physics course under the module Waves and Thermodynamics and sub-part Sound Waves. Reflection of sound waves occurs when it strikes the surface of another medium and bounces back in some other direction, causing echoes more than 0.1 seconds after the original sound wave was heard. Diffraction is the bending of sounds waves around obstacles and openings. Resonance is the tendency of a system to vibrate with increasing amplitudes at unique frequencies of excitation. Wave superposition occurs when two or more sound waves are travelling through the same medium at the same time, the net displacement at any point in time, is simply the sum of the individual wave displacements.

The following two videos cover the features of sound as they propagate into a different medium, alongside other sound waves or around corners.

 

Part 1: Crash Course music

 

Part 2: Diffraction and interference