Which of the following wave properties  cannot be demonstrated by all kinds of waves?  [1] Polarization   [2] Diffraction   [3] Superposition   [4] Refraction  [5] Reflection

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mvcdc | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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A wave is an oscillation travelling through space and/or matter. Familiar examples of waves are light (electromagnetic wave) and sound waves. 

The movement of a wave can either be longitudinal or transverse. A longitudinal wave vibrates in the same direction as it travels. On the other hand, a transverse wave vibrates perpendicular to its direction of motion. EM waves are always transverse, while mechanical waves can be either.

This difference between longitudinal and transverse waves result to a property not common to all waves - that property would be polarization. Polarization is a property of waves to be oriented in more than one direction. Because longitudinal waves travel and vibrate in only one direction, they cannot have the property of being polarized. 

Diffraction is a phenomenon encountered by all waves when they encounter an obstacle in their path. Reflection is the bouncing of wave (e.g. in mirrors and echoes). Refraction is the change in direction as a wave travels through a different medium. Superposition is an 'additive' or 'subtractive' property of waves in the same medium at the same time. All of these properties are common to any kind of wave.

Answer: [1] Polarization


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