Designed by Dr T. Marlow
General Properties of Waves
a) Waves transfer energy.
b) Waves may be either transverse or longitudinal.
c) Electromagnetic waves are transverse, sound wave are longitudinal and mechanical waves may be either transverse or longitudinal.
d) All types of electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed through a vacuum (space).
e) Electromagnetic waves form a continuous spectrum.
f) Longitudinal waves show areas of compression and rarefaction.
g) Waves can be reflected, refracted and diffracted.
h) Waves undergo a change of direction when they are refracted at an interface.
i) The terms frequency, wavelength and amplitude.
j) All waves obey the wave equation:
wavespeed = frequency x wavelength
k) Radio waves, microwaves, infra red and visible light can be used for communication.
a) Sound waves are longitudinal waves and cause vibrations in a medium, which are detected as sound.
b) The pitch of a sound is determined by its frequency and loudness by its amplitude.
c) Echoes are reflections of sounds.