Wave Speed & Phase Difference

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Phase and Phase Difference

The phase of a wave is an important concept in physics. It can be expressed in fractions of a cycle or as an angle.

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  • The phase of a wave describes how far through a cycle the wave is.
  • Phase difference is a measure of the difference in where two waves are in their cycle.
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  • Phase difference can be measured in angles or as a fraction of the wave cycle.
    • A full cycle corresponds to one wavelength, λ, a half cycle as ½λ etc.
  • Angles can be measured in degrees or radians.
    • A full cycle is 360° (2π rad), a half cycle is 180° (π rad) etc.

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