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September 23, 2023


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Physics III: Vibrations and Waves (Fall 2016, MIT OCW). Instructor: Professor Yen-Jie Lee.

Vibrations and waves are everywhere. If you take any system and disturb it from a stable equilibrium, the resultant motion will be waves and vibrations. Think of a guitar string - pluck the string, and it vibrates. The sound waves generated make their way to our ears, and we hear the string's sound. Our eyes see what's happening because they receive the electromagnetic waves of the light reflected from the guitar string, so that we can recognize the beautiful sinusoidal waves on the string. In fact, without vibrations and waves, we could not recognize the universe around us at all!

The amazing thing is that we can describe many fascinating phenomena arising from very different physical systems with mathematics. This course will provide you with the concepts and mathematical tools necessary to understand and explain a broad range of vibrations and waves. You will learn that waves come from many interconnected (coupled) objects when they are vibrating together. We will discuss many of these phenomena, along with related topics, including mechanical vibrations and waves, sound waves, electromagnetic waves, optics, and gravitational waves. (from ocw.mit.edu)

Course Curriculum

    • Lecture 01 – Periodic Oscillators, Harmonic Oscillators Unlimited
    • Lecture 02 – Damped Free Oscillators Unlimited
    • Lecture 03 – Driven Oscillators, Transient Phenomena, Resonance Unlimited
    • Lecture 04 – Coupled Oscillators, Normal Modes Unlimited
    • Lecture 05 – Beat Phenomena Unlimited
    • Lecture 06 – Driven Oscillators, Resonance Unlimited
    • Lecture 07 – Symmetry, Infinite Number of Coupled Oscillators Unlimited
    • Lecture 08 – Translation Symmetry Unlimited
    • Lecture 09 – Wave Equation, Standing Waves, Fourier Series Unlimited
    • Lecture 10 – Traveling Waves Unlimited
    • Lecture 11 – Sound Waves Unlimited
    • Lecture 12 – Maxwell’s Equation, Electromagnetic Waves Unlimited
    • Lecture 13 – Dispersive Medium, Phase Velocity, Group Velocity Unlimited
    • Lecture 14 – Fourier Transform, AM Radio Unlimited
    • Lecture 15 – Uncertainty Principle, 2D Waves Unlimited
    • Lecture 16 – 2D and 3D Waves, Snell’s Law Unlimited
    • Lecture 17 – Polarization, Polarizer Unlimited
    • Lecture 18 – Wave Plates, Radiation Unlimited
    • Lecture 19 – Waves in Medium Unlimited
    • Lecture 20 – Interference, Soap Bubble Unlimited
    • Lecture 21 – Phased Radar, Single Electron Interference Unlimited
    • Lecture 22 – Diffraction, Resolution Unlimited
    • Lecture 23 – Quantum Waves and Gravitational Waves Unlimited
    • Lecture 24 – Review for Final Example Unlimited

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