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
Distinguish between oscillations and wave motion.
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.
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
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.
State Huygens’ (Pronunciation: 'hIg&nz) principle.
Apply Huygens’ principle to twodimensional plane waves to show that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.
Explain refraction using Huygens’ principle.
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
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.
Doppler effect
Describe the Doppler effect in simple terms for both light and sound.
Standing Waves
Describe the nature of standing waves.
Explain the formation of standing waves in one dimension.
Compare standing waves and traveling waves.
Boundary conditions and resonance
Explain the concept of resonance and state the conditions necessary for resonance to occur.
Note that fundamental and first harmonic are interchangeable terms.
Solve problems involving the fundamental and higher harmonic modes. (Note: fundamental and first harmonic are interchangeable terms. )
stretched strings
open pipes
closed pipes
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