Does producing higher frequency waves require more energy than their low frequency counterparts with same amplitudes? For example, in electronics, would a 500 kHz wave require higher voltage to produce in comparison to a 50 Hz wave at the same amplitude?

This is to assume in both cases that the material is free from resonant properties, and is not oscillating at its natural frequency. Also assuming the material is capable of producing both of the frequencies in question equally well.

Examples using waves in air, or models using pendulum systems are welcome. if my question is too vague, please let me know, I'll try be more specific. I am looking for a general theory.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Practically speaking it isn't the E=hf energy you should be thinking about, but rather the fact the realizable circuits have capacitance and resistive losses. Each cycle will see you charge and discharge the capacitance through the losses. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Nov 15 '15 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Basically yes. Compare it to pulling a saw back and forth: the energy needed is proportional to the distance travelled, hence for the same amplitude, a back-and-forth movement at a higher frequency requires more power than at a lower ferquency. \$\endgroup\$ – Wouter van Ooijen Nov 15 '15 at 22:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ but at higher frequency, distance traveled is less from peak to peak of the wave...? \$\endgroup\$ – Saif Nov 15 '15 at 23:34

Don't mix two identical mechanics The mean velocity of electrons in a wire it is very-very low (less than a mm/s) and it is analogous to current. Consequently the power (as kinetic energy) passing per second it depends of current.

On the other hand we can accelerate protons (not in a wire) to velocities up to 80% of light speed, and and in this case we can apply deBorglie equation.


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