Waves and Oscillations

By Prof. M. S. Santhanam   |   IISER Pune
Learners enrolled: 2312
This is a first course on the physics of waves and oscillations. All of our communication gadgets, musical instruments, electronic devices rely on wave phenomena. In this course, systematic theoretical background to the understanding of wave phenomenon in a wide spectrum of applications will be covered. Emphasis is placed on how theoretical ideas are applied in practice.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students of first year B.Sc (Physics / Mathematics ) and first year B.E courses
PREREQUISITES:          Higher secondary school level physics and mathematics is preferred.

Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 29 Jul 2019
End Date : 18 Oct 2019
Exam Date : 17 Nov 2019 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Oscillations in physical systems, Time period and frequency, Harmonic oscillator in one-dimension and its solutions,
Superposition of simple harmonic oscillations, Lissajous figures.
Week 2: Damped harmonic oscillations and its solutions. Driven and damped oscillator and its solutions. Applications to vibration isolation.
Week 3: Impedance, Displacement and velocity resonance, Q-factor of the oscillator.
Week 4: Coupled oscillations, Normal modes and frequencies.
Week 5: Coupled oscillations of loaded string, Solvable examples of coupled oscillations.
Week 6: Wave equation and the transverse waves, Solutions of wave equation, Velocities in wave motion.
Week 7: Standing waves, Reflection and transmission of waves at a boundary, Impedance matching.
Week 8: Longitudinal waves, Sound waves in gases, Longitudinal waves in a solid, Application to periodic structures and
earthquakes. Experimental techniques to measure speed of sound.
Week 9: Fourier analysis, Wave pulses, Applications of Fourier analysis.
Week 10: Waves in optical systems, Laws of reflection and refraction, Rays and wavefronts.
Week 11: Interference and Diffraction, Newton's rings, Fabry-Perot Interferometer,Fraunhofer diffraction.
Week 12: Introduction to nonlinear oscillations, Waves and solitons.

Books and references

F. S. Crawford (Berkeley Physics Series)
Tata McGraw Hill Publishers (2008)
Vibrations and Waves
A. P. French (MIT Introductory Physics Course)
C.B.S Publishers (2003)
Physics of Waves and Oscillations
H. J. Pain Wiley (2005).
Mechanics, Waves and Thermodynamics : An example based approach
Sudhir Ranjan Jain Cambridge University Press (2016)

Instructor bio

Prof. M. S. Santhanam is an associate professor of physics at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. His research interests are in the areas of chaos and nonlinear dynamcs, quantum chaos and statistical physics. He has obtained Ph.D in theoretical physics working at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad. He had been a post-doctoral fellow at Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany. He has taught undergraduate and Masters students for about 11 years now since 2008.

Course certificate

  • The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
  • The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
  • Date and Time of Exams: 17 November 2019Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
  • Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.

  • Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course. 
  • Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
  • Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

  • If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.
  • Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.
  • Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies are being discontinued from July 2019 semester and will not be dispatched

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