Physics Questions and Answers – Principle of Superposition of Waves

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This set of Physics Multiple Choice Questions & Answers (MCQs) focuses on “Principle of Superposition of Waves”.

1. y1 = 2sin(3x – 2t) & y2 = 3sin(3x – 2t + π/4). Find the expression for resultant displacement caused by superposition of the two waves.
a) 3.6sin(2x-3t+3π/7)
b) 4.63sin(3x-2t+3π/5)
c) 3.6cos(3x-2t+3π/7)
d) 4.63cos(3x-2t+3π/5)
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: y = y1 + y2= 2sin(3x-2t) + 3sin(3x-2t+π/4)
= Asin(3x-2t+φ).
A2 = A12 + A22 + 2A1A2cosθ, where θ = π/4, A1 = 2 & A2 = 3.
∴ A = sqrt(4+9+12/√2) = 4.63m.
Tanφ = A2sinθ / (A1 + A2cosθ)
= (3/√2)/(2+3/√2) = 0.51. ∴ φ = 27rad.
∴ y = 4.63sin(3x-2t+8.6π) = 4.63sin(3x-2t+3π/5).
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2. A wave having an amplitude of 3cm is to be superimposed with another wave of the same amplitude. What should be their phase difference if the net amplitude has to be 0?
a) π/2
b) π
c) 2π
d) 0
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: The net amplitude is given by: A2 = A12 + A22 + 2A1A2cosθ,
where θ is the phase difference.
For A to be zero 9 + 9 + 2(9)(9)cosθ = 0
∴ θ = π.

3. If the two pulses of equal amplitude have 2J of energy each, what will be the energy of the system when they overlap with each other making the string entirely straight?

a) 0
b) 4J
c) 2J
d) 1J
View Answer

Answer: b
Explanation: When the two pulses overlap, the string will become straight and the total energy will be in the form of kinetic energy.
As energy will be conserved, energy at that instant = 2+2 = 4J.
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4. In superposition of waves the displacements get added like vectors. True or False?
a) True
b) False
View Answer

Answer: a
Explanation: When waves interfere, the resultant displacement is given by vector addition of their individual displacements.

Sanfoundry Global Education & Learning Series – Physics – Class 11.

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Manish Bhojasia - Founder & CTO at Sanfoundry
Manish Bhojasia, a technology veteran with 20+ years @ Cisco & Wipro, is Founder and CTO at Sanfoundry. He is Linux Kernel Developer & SAN Architect and is passionate about competency developments in these areas. He lives in Bangalore and delivers focused training sessions to IT professionals in Linux Kernel, Linux Debugging, Linux Device Drivers, Linux Networking, Linux Storage, Advanced C Programming, SAN Storage Technologies, SCSI Internals & Storage Protocols such as iSCSI & Fiber Channel. Stay connected with him @ LinkedIn | Youtube | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter