Waves and polarisation

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At the moment, we are only concerned with progressive waves.  It is very important that we remember: 

Progressive waves transfer energy without transferring matter. 

There are two types of progressive wave: either transverse, or longitudinal. 

Transverse - Vibrations are at right angles to the direction of energy travel. Describing a wave as transverse therefore implies that two directions of motion associated with the wave must be at right angles to each other- these directions of motion are the direction of energy travel and the direction of particle motion. e.g. light, e.m. waves.

Longitudinal - Vibrations are parallel to direction of


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