Physics- P1.5

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  • Waves have energy.
  • Particles on the surface of the wave go up and down.
  • Waves transfer energy.

Mechanical Waves

  • Vibrations that travel through a medium (substance)
  • Examples:
  • Sound waves
  • Water waves
  • Waves on springs/ ropes
  • Seismic waves from earthquakes

Electromagnetic Waves

  • These waves travel through a vacuum atb the sane speed.
  • Examples:
  • Light waves
  • Radio Waves
  • Microwaves

Longitudianal Waves- The direction of the vibration or oscillation is parallel to the direction of energy transfer (the direction in which the wave travels) e.g. sound.

Transverse Waves- The direction of vibration or oscillation of is perpendicular to the direction of energy transfer (direction in which the wave travels) e.g. water.

Wave Characteristics

  • Wavelength- Top of one peak to the other- bottom of trough to another.
  • Amplitude- Distance from baseline to peak or baseline to trough.
  • Frequency- N.o of waves per second if one wave passes in one second it has a frequency of one Hertz or Hz. This is the unit for frequency.


Image in a plane mirror

  • Upright
  • Same size as the object
  • Distance from mirroe to image= distance from images to mirror
  • Laterally inverted (flipped around)
  • Virtual- can't be shown on a screen. (The image is called virtual because the light rays never really go there- our brains just think the do).


  • Diffraction is the bending of waves round an obstacle or through a hole. The spreading out of waves.
  • Maximum diffraction occurs when the wavelength is similar to the gap size.


  • Refraction of light in the bending of light rays at the interface…


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