Imagine a ripple on a pond—there are peaks and troughs to the wave. The more powerful the ripple, the shorter the gap between the peaks, called the wavelength, and the higher the frequency of the waves. If a trough of one wave meets a peak, or crest, of another, they cancel each other out. In physics, waves, and even particles, move in a similar manner, so studying their wavelength can provide useful information.
Wavelength Term Timeline in A Brief History of Time
The timeline below shows where the term Wavelength appears in A Brief History of Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...the electromagnetic field would travel at constant speeds, just like ripples in ponds. The different wavelengths (the distance between each wave crest) were different types of light; there are, for example,... (full context)
...distances from the light source, and through the slits, to reach the wall. Therefore, the wavelengths of these beams of light will overlap rather than arrive “in phase with each other,”... (full context)
...mechanics, the electrons would move as waves, and therefore would only form orbits where the wavelengths were whole numbers. If the wavelengths needed to complete an orbit was not a whole... (full context)
...the plates. Within the plates, the photons would only occur in the space if their wavelengths matched the width of the space between the plates in terms of whole numbers, otherwise... (full context)