Mr. Rogers' AP Physics C: IB Physics Topics

Syllabus 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
IB SL Thermo IB HL Thermo IB HL Waves AP Review  

Topic 10: HL Wave Phenomena



Essential Question: How can wave phenomenon be used in measuring instuments?


Doppler Effect - Applications: radar, blood flow measurements, ultrasonic imaging

  1. Describe and explain the Doppler effect.

  2. Students should recognize that in general the velocities of source and/or

  3. detector are specified with respect to the medium. They should know however that light in a vacuum is unique and, in this case, it is the relative velocity of source and detector that is relevant.

  4.  Construct wavefront diagrams for moving-detector and moving-source situations.

  5. Derive the equations for the Doppler effect for sound in the cases of a moving detector and a moving source.

  6. Solve problems on the Doppler effect for sound. Problems may include both a moving source and a moving detector but not both simultaneously.


Beats - Applications: frequency measurement in the microwave part of the EM spectrum

  1. Explain the formation of beats.

  2. Students should be able to sketch the resultant waveform from the superposition of two component waves.

  3.  Derive the beat frequency formula.

fbeat = |f2 - f1|

  1. Solve problems involving beats.


Two-source Interference of Waves - Applications: flatness measurement

  1. Explain, by means of the principle of superposition, the interference pattern produced by waves from two coherent point sources. Water, light and sound waves should be considered.

  2. State the conditions necessary to observe interference between two light sources.

constant phase relationship

same polarization

  1. Outline Young’s double slit experiment for light and draw the intensity distribution of the observed fringe pattern. Restrict this to the situation where the slit width is small compared to the slit separation so that diffraction effects on the pattern are not considered.

  2. Derive expressions for the locations of the maxima and minima of the double slit fringe pattern. These include the angular form sin . = n./d and the form s = . D/d for locations on a screen at distance D, involving the small angle approximation.

  3. Solve problems involving two-source interference.


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