Focus on Physics: Waves is a collection of simulated science experiments and interactive topics covering the Waves section of AS and A2 level Physics. The interactive models, animated sequences and simulated experiments are integrated with reference sections where theory is explained, and relevant formulae are derived. This title is available as part of the  Focus Science Online Resource Pack. See below for sample screenshots and a list of topics.

Absorption of Gamma Rays

●  Gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation and if the source is regarded as a point source, then the radiation will spread out over the surface of a sphere.

Damped Harmonic Motion

●  The motion is followed by attaching a small magnet so that as the mass moves the magnet induces a voltage in a coil.

●  This voltage is recorded on a data logger and can then be displayed on a computer.

Diffraction Grating

●  A diffraction grating consists of a very large number of closely spaced opaque lines ruled on a transparent sheet

●  These lines behave as a set of closely spaced slits.

Electromagnetic Waves

●  Electromagnetic waves consist of a varying electric field, E, and a varying magnetic field, B ,at right angles to each other.

Forced Oscillations and Resonance

●  Forced oscillations occur when an oscillating system (the mass on the springs) is driven by some external agency (a vibrator connected to a signal generator)

Hydrogen Emission Spectra

●  The animation shows some of the energy levels in the hydrogen atom. The various transitions are shown as arrows.

Multiple Slit Interference

●  The top screen shows a representation of the pattern that would be seen on a screen using a visible light source (laser) and the lower screen shows the pattern in terms of an intensity – angle graph.


●  One of the most familiar uses of polarization is in sunglasses. Reflected light is partly polarised and polaroid sunglasses are able to cut out a lot of reflected light (“glare”)

Ripple tank Models

●  When waves pass through a gap that is small compared to the wavelength, the waves spread out or diffract.

Transverse and Longitudinal waves

● .A progressive wave is a method by which energy can be transferred from one place to another by a vibrating medium (e.g. sound waves and water waves) or by a vibrating electromagnetic field

● Progressive waves fall into two groups: Transverse and Longitudinal

Sound Waves

The sound you hear depends on three factors:
● The Frequency
●  The Amplitude of the Wave
● The “Shape” of the Wave

Speed of Sound in Air

● The apparatus consists of a loud speaker connected to a signal generator. The output from the signal generator is displayed on one beam of a double beam oscilloscope.

Stationary Waves

●  A stationary wave is formed by two progressive waves that travel in opposite directions. It is the superposition (combination) of these waves that produce the stationary wave.

Superposition of Waves

●  The animation  allows you to add together waves of various amplitudes, frequencies and phase

Young’s Duble Slit Experiment

●  A laser shines a beam of light through a double slit and onto a screen. The upper part of the simulation shows the interference pattern that would be seen across the central part of the screen.

Wave Mathematics

●  Auxiliary Circle
● Phase Angle
●  Radian Measure

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