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Waves
  
soundwavesby mahalie on Flickr

Two Types of Waves:

  • Longitudinal wave - the motion of the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave
  • Transverse wave- wave that moves the medium in a direction perpendicular to the direction in which the wave travels.

A sound wave is a longitudinal wave in an elastic medium producing an audible sensation.


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H2Oby *L*u*z*A* on Flickr

A medium is the material through which a wave travels.

Water is an example of a medium since a wave can move through it.

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~ Mauritius ~by KhayaL on Flickr

  • Crest is the highest part of a transverse wave.
  • Trough of a wave is the lowest part.
  • Compression is the part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are close together.
  • Amplitude is the maximum distance the particles of a medium move away from their rest positions as a wave passes through the medium.
  • Wavelength is the the distance between the crest of one wave and the crest of the next.
  • Rarefraction is the bending of waves as they enter a different medium. Sound waves in this picture would bend as they went through water and air.

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SAF#2by Roby Ferrari on Flickr

  • Frequency of a sound is the number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time.
  • More the number of waves per second, higher the pitch of the sound.
  • A Hertz (HZ) is the unit of measurement for frequency.

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