GCSE Physics

Circular Reflection

reflection by a circular barried does NOT change the wavelength

Another important point is that when waves reflect off a barrier, their wavelength remains unchanged, as shown (left).

The strange-looking, upside-down y symbol is the Greek letter lambda, often used to denote wavelength.

Key Points

  • Waves reflect to a point halfway from barrier to its centre
  • There is no change in speed, frequency or wavelength
  • Reflected waves have twice the curvature of the barrier
  • On reaching their point of focus, the waves spread out again

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