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Crystals, X-rays and ProteinsComprehensive Protein Crystallography$
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Dennis Sherwood and Jon Cooper

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559046

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559046.001.0001

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Waves and electromagnetic radiation

Waves and electromagnetic radiation

(p.93) 4 Waves and electromagnetic radiation
Crystals, X-rays and Proteins

Dennis Sherwood

Jon Cooper

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines the fundamental physical terms used to define wave motion such as wavelength, frequency, velocity, amplitude, wave vector, and period from first principles. It also introduces detailed mathematical functions which can be used to describe waves, and explains the interaction of waves with one another (superposition) in depth due to its importance in diffraction analysis. The chapter describes in depth the important concept of the phase of a wave, as is the physical basis of constructive and destructive interference. It emphasises the elegance of the complex exponential form in describing wave motion in diffraction analysis along with the concept of intensity and how it can be derived from the amplitude of the wave. Finally, the chapter describes the nature of electromagnetic radiation along with the physical basis underlying the scattering of electromagnetic radiation by sub-atomic particles.

Keywords:   waves, wave vector, amplitude, interference, principle of superposition, phase, complex exponentials, intensity, electromagnetic waves

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