standing wave

noun Physics.
a wave in a medium in which each point on the axis of the wave has an associated constant amplitude ranging from zero at the nodes to a maximum at the antinodes.
Also called stationary wave.


Origin:
1905–10

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World English Dictionary
standing wave
 
n
physics node Compare antinode Also called: stationary wave the periodic disturbance in a medium resulting from the combination of two waves of equal frequency and intensity travelling in opposite directions. There are generally two kinds of displacement, and the maximum value of the amplitude of one of these occurs at the same points as the minimum value of the amplitude of the other. Thus in the case of electromagnetic radiation the amplitude of the oscillations of the electric field has its greatest value at the points at which the magnetic oscillation is zero, and vice versa

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
standing wave   (stān'dĭng)  Pronunciation Key 
A wave that oscillates in place, without transmitting energy along its extent. Standing waves tend to have stable points, called nodes, where there is no oscillation. Examples of standing waves include the vibration of a violin string and electron orbitals in an atom. Also called stationary wave. See also harmonic oscillator.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

standing wave

combination of two waves moving in opposite directions, each having the same amplitude and frequency. The phenomenon is the result of interference-that is, when waves are superimposed, their energies are either added together or cancelled out. In the case of waves moving in the same direction, interference produces a travelling wave; for oppositely moving waves, interference produces an oscillating wave fixed in space. A vibrating rope tied at one end will produce a standing wave, as shown in the ; the wave train (line B), after arriving at the fixed end of the rope, will be reflected back and superimposed on itself as another train of waves (line C) in the same plane. Because of interference between the two waves, the resultant amplitude (R) of the two waves will be the sum of their individual amplitudes. Part I of the shows the wave trains B and C coinciding so that standing wave R has twice their amplitude. In part II, 18 period later, B and C have each shifted 18 wavelength. Part III represents the case 18 period still later, when the amplitudes of the component waves B and C are oppositely directed. At all times there are positions (N) along the rope, called nodes, at which there is no movement at all; there the two wave trains are always in opposition. On either side of a node is a vibrating antinode (A). The antinodes alternate in the direction of displacement so that the rope at any instant resembles a graph of the mathematical function called the sine, as represented by line R. Both longitudinal (e.g., sound) waves and transverse (e.g., water) waves can form standing waves

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The trick depends on creating a standing wave with regions of low and high pressure.
In case of standing wave, the phase speed is infinite.
In this case, there would be no standing wave so the sound would be much muted.
Fish may even be repulsed in the standing wave at the foot of the incline.
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