Darwin-L Message Log 6:96 (February 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<6:96>From GGALE@VAX1.UMKC.EDU  Wed Feb 23 22:28:40 1994

Date: Wed, 23 Feb 1994 22:28:50 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: DARWIN-L digest 155
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

John Sutton raises some interesting questions about 'superposition' and its
possible interdisciplinary radiation. I can say nothing about the latter
point (beyond noting that superposition, like other wave-notions, e.g.,
resonance, 'vibrations', etc., is ripe/rife for/in extensions beyond their
initial domain).
Waves, unlike material particles, may be in the same place at the same time.
Imagine two talented folks perched at opposite ends of a rope of just the
right texture, density, and tension. If both rapidly jerk the rope just
right, simultaneously, two travelling waves of unique shape proceed from
each end toward one another. From the first contact of the two leading-edges
of the travelling waves (think of them as moving geometrical distortions to
the original figure of the rope) the two travelling waves are superposed.
Depending on the relations between each wave's rising and ralling elements,
the risings and fallings will either add to or subtract from each other.
This is interference. The waves pass through each other, maintaining
their 'identity' (such as they are) at every moment, until they emerge as
individuals again.
So far as I understand the situation (and I have only the elementary
understanding you see before your eyes), nothing is lost nor gained of the
original character (amplitude & wavelength) of the two initial waves.

I don't know if this is any help. Hope so.

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