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Thread: Refraction and Diffraction of Light Waves. Sound Waves, too?

  1. #1 Refraction and Diffraction of Light Waves. Sound Waves, too? 
    Forum Freshman starlarvae's Avatar
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    A simple question:

    I am familiar with the phenomena of refraction and diffraction as they apply to light waves. But do sound waves exhibit similar behavior? If so, in what circumstances would these phenomena occur with sound waves?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree x(x-y)'s Avatar
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    Yes, from what I know, sound waves (which are longitudinal- oscillations of the particles take place in the direction of propagation rather than at right angles to it) undergo both refraction and diffraction. If sound waves are travelling through the air and reach a denser medium, then they will be refracted at an angle through this material- note, the speed of the wave will also slow down due to the dense material and cause the sound waves to be of a shorter wavelength.


    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
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