(1)The Nature of Waves

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  • Created by: Olatunde
  • Created on: 25-03-14 13:13
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The Nature of Waves.
Types of Wave:
Seismic = Can be Longitudinal or Transverse. In an earthquake the majority of the energy is
transferred as wave energy and is transmitted over long distances.
Mechanical = Pass through a material and are vibrations of said material. E.g.: sound waves,
seismic waves, strings.
Electromagnetic= Vibrating electrical or magnetic fields through space. (No material
needed.). E.g.: EM spectrum.
Transverse = Can be shown as displacement distance graphs or displacement time graphs.
The disturbance in the wave is perpendicular to the direction the wave is travelling. All waves
on the EM spectrum are transverse. Other examples include ripples on water and waves on
Longitudinal = Sound waves a vibrating surface in contact with air. Most common type is
sound waves. Consisting of compressions and rarefactions. e.g. ||| | || ||| | | |
Polarised = only oscillates in one direction. Can only happen for transverse waves
Standing = Have nodes where two waves cancel out so there is no movement. Antinodes
where waves interfere and make height double wave. 2 antinodes equal wavelength.
Definition = the way two or more waves affect each other when they meet.
Constructive = When the crests of any two waves coincide, they create an amplified wave.
Both waves are in phase with each other.
Destructive = When the crests of two waves are different, they create a smaller wave.
Waves are out of phase, half a cycle different from each other.


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