stationary wave

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A form of wave in which the profile of the wave does not move through the medium but remains stationary. This is in contrast to a travelling (or progressive) wave, in which the profile moves through the medium at the speed of the wave. A stationary wave results when a travelling wave is reflected back along its own path. In a stationary wave there are points at which the displacement is zero; these are called nodes. Points of maximum displacement are called antinodes. The distance between a node and its neighbouring antinode is one quarter of a wavelength. In a stationary wave all the points along the wave have different amplitudes and the points between successive nodes are in phase; in a travelling wave every point vibrates with the same amplitude and the phase of vibration changes for different points along its path.

Subjects: Physics.

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