IB Physics Standards: Items directly related to the standards are shown in blue
Topic 4 and 11: SL and HL Waves
Objectives 
Essential Question: Could wireless communication have developed without an understanding of the physics? 
Traveling Waves
Describe a wave pulse and a continuous traveling wave.
Understand that there is no net motion of the medium through which the wave travels.
State that waves transfer energy.
Describe and give examples of transverse and longitudinal waves.
sound is a longitudinal wave
light is a transverse wave.
Describe waves in two dimensions, including the concepts of wave fronts and rays.
Essential Question: I? 
Wave characteristics
Define displacement, amplitude, period, frequency, wavelength and wave speed.
Describe the terms crest, trough, compression and rarefaction.
Draw and explain displacement–time and displacement–position graphs for transverse and longitudinal waves.
Derive and apply the relationship between wave speed, wavelength and frequency.
v = l f
Essential Question: Is the speed of light constant? 
Wave Properties
Reflection, refraction and transmission of waves
Sketch incident, reflected and transmitted waves, and the cases of reflection at free and fixed ends.
Describe the reflection and transmission of onedimensional waves at a boundary between two media.
Every point on a wavefront may be considered a source of secondary spherical wavelets which spread out in the forward direction at the speed of the wave. The new wavefront is the tangential surface to all of these secondary wavelets.
Define refractive index or index of refraction.
n = (speed of light in a vacuum) / (speed of light in the media)
Derive Snell’s law for refraction using Huygens’ principle.
State and apply Snell’s law.
n_{1} sin( θ_{1}) = n_{2} sin(θ_{2})
Where:
n = index of refraction
= (speed of light in a vacuum) / (speed of light in the media)
θ = incident angle
Essential Question: Can sound go around corners? 
Wave diffraction and interference
Explain and discuss qualitatively, using Huygens’ principle, the diffraction of waves by apertures and obstacles.
Discuss the effect on diffraction and interference of wavelength compared to obstacle size or aperture size.
Describe examples of diffraction.
State the principle of superposition and explain what is meant by constructive and destructive interference (only onedimensional situations).
Apply the principle of superposition to find the resultant of two waves.
Essential Question: How do we know the universe is expanding? 
Doppler effect

Essential Question: I? 
Standing Waves
Describe the nature of standing waves.
Explain the formation of standing waves in one dimension.
Compare standing waves and traveling waves.
Essential Question: How do pipe organs work? 
Boundary conditions and resonance (Core)
mechanical
 swingfor large angles, the resonant frequency changes, hence limiting the amplitude
 pendulumfor large angles, the resonant frequency changes, hence limiting the amplitude
 spring and mass
 pipe organ
 bells
electrical
 antennae
 LC circuit
stretched strings
open pipes
closed pipes
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