# Tap 320 2: Phase difference and superposition

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 TAP 320 - 2: Phase difference and superposition This question helps you check your understanding of phase difference and gives you further practice in superposing waves. Graphs of waves A graph of wave displacement against position shows a wave 'frozen' in space at an instant of time. Really, the waves are travelling along. The graph shows 'snapshots' of two waves, A and B. 1. What is the phase difference between A and B? Give your answers in fractions of a wavelength and degrees. There are at least two correct answers to this question! 2. Sketch the superposition pattern of A and B. The next diagram shows two more waves, C and D. 3. What is the phase difference between C and D? 4. Sketch the superposition pattern of C and D. 5. What phase angle corresponds to a phase difference of 1/3 of a wavelength? 6. Sketch a diagram showing two waves of equal amplitude with a phase difference equal to 1/3 of a wavelength. Practical advice A suitable question to support demonstrations of superposition, phase and path difference. Answers and worked solutions 1. Zero phase difference 2. 3. One oscillation (or wavelength for a displacement amplitude graph) is equivalent to 360º. Therefore: 4. 5. 6. External reference This activity is taken from Advancing Physics chapter 6, 10W

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