Harmonic Wave as a Physical Term

Subject: Sciences
Pages: 1
Words: 273
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Harmonic wave is a physical term describing an oscillatory motion or vibration which moves first in one direction and then back again in the opposite direction. An example is the movement of a string plucked in a musical instrument. In addition, the harmonic wave is usually accompanied by sound production. The harmonic wave is characterized by properties such as frequency (ν), wavelength (λ), and amplitude (A), as shown in the diagram below.

An example of a harmonic wave.
An example of a harmonic wave

Frequency can be defined as the number of waves that pass a point in unit time, defined by one second. Its unit is the Hertz, Hz (that is, cycles per second). The wavelength and the frequency are related by; λv = c, where c is the velocity of a wave in a vacuum.

The peak height of a wave is called the amplitude. The movement of a wave is described as periodic as it goes over again at various standard intervals in a precise manner. This motion is described as being sinusoidal with a constant amplitude which is always positive. In addition, the harmonic wave is also characterized by a period, and phase. The time for any single oscillation in a harmonic oscillator is defined by a period, whereas the starting point of a harmonic wave is fundamentally described by the phase. Frequency and period are related and are defined by the overall system. On the other hand, position and velocity define the phase and the amplitude of a harmonic wave.