Waves

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  • Waves
    • Longitudinal Waves
      • Sound waves are longitudinal waves
        • The vibrations in sound waves are in the same directions as the direction of travel.
      • When an object or substance vibrates, it produces sound. These sound waves can only travel through a solid, liquid or gas. They cannot travel through empty space.
    • Amplitude
      • The amplitude is the maximum height of the wave from its resting position – the greater the amplitude, the louder the sound.
    • Wavelength
      • The wavelength is the distance between the crests (tops) of two waves next to each other (or any other two identical point on waves next to each other)
    • Frequency
      • The frequency is the number of waves per second – the higher the frequency, the closer together the waves are and the higher the pitch
    • Transverse Waves
      • Light travels as waves. These are transverse waves, like the ripples in a tank of water. The direction of vibration in the waves is at 90° to the direction that the light travels.
        • Unlike sound waves, light waves can travel through a vacuum (empty space). They do not need a substance to travel through, but they can travel through transparent and translucent substances. The table summarises some similarities and differences between light waves and sound waves:

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