Longitudinal and Transverse waves

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Transverse waves

In transverse waves, the oscillations (vibrations) are at right angles to the direction of travel and energy transfer

Light and other types of electromagnetic radiation are transverse waves. All types of electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed through a vacuum, such as through space.

Longitudinal waves

In longitudinal waves, the oscillations are along the same direction as the direction of travel and energy transfer.

Sound waves and waves in a stretched spring are longitudinal waves. P waves (relatively fast moving longitudinal seismic waves that travel through liquids and solids) are also longitudinal waves.

Longitudinal waves show area of compression

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