# Physics Waves

Waves

General properties of waves

• Light travels as waves
• Waves can be described by their amplitude, frequency or wavelength
• The speed of a wave can be calculated by frequency or wavelength
• Waves are vibrations that transfer energy from place to place without matter being transferred
• Some waves must travel through a substance which is known as the medium
• Sound waves and seismic waves are like this
• Other waves don't need to travel through a substance
• Visible light, infrared waves, microwaves and other types of electromagnetic radiation are like this
• Electrical and magnetic fields vibrate as the waves travel
• 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
• 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
• Longitudinal waves show areas of compression and rarefraction
• Amplitude: maximum disturbance from its undisturbed position
• Wavelength: distance between a point on one wave and the same point on the next
• Frequency: number of waves produced by a source each second
• Wave length in m/s = frequency in Hz x wavelength in metres
• Waves can be refracted and diffracted
• Sound waves and light waves change speed when they pass across the boundary between two substances with different densities, like air and glass
• This causes them to change direction which is called refraction
• Refraction doesn't happen if the waves cross the boundary…

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# Physics Waves

Waves

General properties of waves

• Light travels as waves
• Waves can be described by their amplitude, frequency or wavelength
• The speed of a wave can be calculated by frequency or wavelength
• Waves are vibrations that transfer energy from place to place without matter being transferred
• Some waves must travel through a substance which is known as the medium
• Sound waves and seismic waves are like this
• Other waves don't need to travel through a substance
• Visible light, infrared waves, microwaves and other types of electromagnetic radiation are like this
• Electrical and magnetic fields vibrate as the waves travel
• 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
• 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
• Longitudinal waves show areas of compression and rarefraction
• Amplitude: maximum disturbance from its undisturbed position
• Wavelength: distance between a point on one wave and the same point on the next
• Frequency: number of waves produced by a source each second
• Wave length in m/s = frequency in Hz x wavelength in metres
• Waves can be refracted and diffracted
• Sound waves and light waves change speed when they pass across the boundary between two substances with different densities, like air and glass
• This causes them to change direction which is called refraction
• Refraction doesn't happen if the waves cross the boundary…