Waves for detection and exploration (physics only) (HT only) Waves for detection and exploration (physics only) (HT only)


Students should be able to explain in qualitative terms, how the differences in velocity, absorption and reflection between different types of wave in solids and liquids can be used both for detection and exploration of structures which are hidden from direct observation.

Ultrasound waves have a frequency higher than the upper limit of hearing for humans. Ultrasound waves are partially reflected when they meet a boundary between two different media. The time taken for the reflections to reach a detector can be used to determine how far away such a boundary is. This allows ultrasound waves to be used for both medical and industrial imaging.

Seismic waves are produced by earthquakes. P-waves are longitudinal, seismic waves. P-waves travel at different speeds through solids and liquids. S-waves are transverse, seismic waves. S-waves cannot travel through a liquid. P-waves and S-waves provide evidence for the structure and size of the Earth’s core.

Echo sounding, using high frequency sound waves is used to detect objects in deep water and measure water depth.

Students should be aware that the study of seismic waves provided new evidence that led to discoveries about parts of the Earth which are not directly observable.

WS 1.1 - Understand how scientific methods and theories develop over time.

WS 1.4 Explain everyday and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.







Asthma attack risk for selected student?