Can water waves be reflected and refracted? Give examples. Does Huygens’s principle apply to water waves? Explain.
The answer to the question lies in the definitions of the terms reflection and refraction. For either to occur, there needs to be a boundary of some kind. Often, this is from one material to another (as in the case of light), but it could also be a temperature boundary.
Reflection is the transmission of energy opposite the direction of propagation of the wave, and refraction is a change in direction of the remaining forward propagating wave at the boundary. Thus water can be reflected and refracted. One example of reflection is the case of a wave impacting a concrete wall. One example of refraction is the change in direction of a water wave when it moves from shallow water to deeper water (there is a temperature boundary).
Huygen's principle is that the wave can be decomposed into a series of point sources that, in the far field, superimpose to reconstruct the original wave. This principle has it's foundation in the mathematics of a wave, which can be applied to water waves as well, and also in the understanding that each point of disturbance in any wave can be understood as a point source for future disturbances. Both these concepts apply to water waves.
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