Wave diagram

A wave diagram is a graphic representation, using specific drawing rules and labels, that depicts variations in the characteristics of light waves. These characteristics include changes in wavelength, frequency, amplitude, speed of light and propagation direction.

  • A wave diagram provides a visual representation of how a wave behaves when it interacts with various different media or objects.
  • The purpose of a wave diagram is to illustrate optical phenomena, including reflection, refraction, dispersion, and diffraction.
  • Wave diagrams can be useful in both theoretical and practical applications, such as understanding the basics of the physics of light  or designing complex optical systems.
  • Wave diagrams are not limited to light; they can also be used to represent other types of waves, such as sound or radio waves.

Here at lightcolourvision.org, we use the term wave diagram to refer to a diagram that uses a set of drawing conventions and labels to describe the attributes of light waves including wavelength, frequency, amplitude and direction of travel.

  • A wave diagram illustrates what happens to a wave as it encounters different media or objects.
  • The aim of a wave diagram is to demonstrate optical phenomena such as reflection and refraction.