What Is the Matter Through Which a Wave Travels Called?

Waves can travel through matter called a medium. This is true for mechanical waves that include sound, water and slinky waves. However, this is not the case for electromagnetic waves, which can travel through a vacuum.

The medium through which mechanical waves travel can be a solid, liquid or a gas. A mechanical wave is a type of disturbance that travels through a medium and transports energy from one point to another location.

There are two different types of wave motion associated with mechanical waves: transverse and longitudinal waves. Transverse waves are types of waves in which the disturbance moves perpendicular to the wave's direction. With longitudinal waves, the disturbance travels parallel to the wave's direction.

Electromagnetic waves can travel through a medium and a vacuum. However, these waves can travel much faster through a vacuum.