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# Water waves Watch

1. Why do waves meet the shore at right angles or nearly so? Explain using refraction . Help would be appreciated

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2. (Original post by Futurechemist)
Why do waves meet the shore at right angles or nearly so? Explain using refraction . Help would be appreciated

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As it happens jennifer50 recently posted a nice diagram of the effect of refraction on waves moving from deep to shallow water in this thread
3. I understand that wave is slower in shallow water but how does that affect the angle at which it meets the shore?

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4. (Original post by Futurechemist)
I understand that wave is slower in shallow water but how does that affect the angle at which it meets the shore?

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Change in speed causes refraction... the change in direction is shown in the diagram. the rule is Snell's law which says

sin (ϴ1)/sin (ϴ2)=v1/v2

look at the diagram I just linked to, draw a normal to the boundary between deep and shallow water and see if the direction of travel of the waves in deep water is making a different angle to the normal than the direction of travel of the waves in the shallow water.

the question is asking you about waves hitting the shore with a direction of travel which makes a small angle to the normal... waves hitting the shore are by definition moving from deeper water into shallower water.

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Updated: April 17, 2016
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