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Standing wave

A standing wave, also known as a stationary wave, is a wave that remains in a constant position in space. This phenomenon can occur because the medium is moving in the opposite direction to the wave, or it can arise in a stationary medium as a result of interference between two waves travelling in opposite directions.

As an example of the first type, under certain meteorological conditions standing waves form in the atmosphere in the lee of mountain ranges. Such waves are often exploited by glider pilots.

As an example of the second type, in telecommunications, USA Federal Standard 1037C defines a standing wave in a transmission line as a wave in which the distribution of current, voltage, or field strength is formed by the superposition of two waves propagating in opposite directions, and which wave is characterized by a series of nodes (minima) and anti-nodes (maxima) at fixed points along the transmission line. Such a standing wave may be formed when a wave is transmitted into one end of a transmission line and is reflected from the other end by an impedance mismatch, i.e., discontinuity, such as an open or a short.

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