What is a wave?

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Offline evan_au

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What is a wave?
« on: 29/04/2016 13:43:25 »
Quote from: McQueen
Out of  these  "waves" only ocean waves are true waves that disperse their energy across the wave front i.e., the energy is shared in common
Imagine an AM radio transmitter, delivering (say) 100kW at 1MHz. This emits radio waves, and the 100kW is dispersed across the whole wave front as is spreads out from the transmitter.

I don't have a problem seeing the radio waves as copious coherent photons, just as I don't have a problem seeing a series of ocean waves as the motion of innumerable polar water molecules, each delivering their little bit of energy, and each subject to their own particular forces.

Why are radio waves fundamentally different from ocean waves, that prevents them from being true waves?

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Offline McQueen

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Re: What is a wave?
« Reply #1 on: 30/04/2016 01:35:30 »
Why are radio waves fundamentally different from ocean waves, that prevents them from being true waves?

Maybe that could be the subject of a new thread?


« Last Edit: 30/04/2016 01:44:56 by McQueen »
“Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it’s wrong.”

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Offline Colin2B

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Re: What is a wave?
« Reply #2 on: 30/04/2016 14:41:42 »
Quote from: McQueen
Out of  these  "waves" only ocean waves are true waves that disperse their energy across the wave front i.e., the energy is shared in common
Why are radio waves fundamentally different from ocean waves, that prevents them from being true waves?
I would ask the same question of sound waves which have energy dispersed over the wavefront.
Are we missing something in a subtle definition??
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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Offline evan_au

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Re: What is a wave?
« Reply #3 on: 01/05/2016 00:03:43 »
This was split off from: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=66570.0

This sideline was prompted by the following exchange:
A: if light is slowed (when passing through a material of higher refractive index) then energy is involved, if energy is involved then photons not waves are involved.

B: Please clarify why light waves, ocean waves,  gravitational waves and radio waves cannot carry energy.

A: Out of  these  "waves" only ocean waves are true waves that disperse their energy across the wave front i.e., the energy is shared in common,  all of the others ( leaving aside gravitational waves) have discrete energies as demonstrated by Max Planck..