Waves are vibrations that transfer energy through a medium without causing the individual particles of a medium to move significantly from their equilibrium or position of rest. Once a wave has passed, the particles that comprise a medium tend to return to their respective position.Continue Reading
The particles and substance of a medium move in a direction that is perpendicular to the movement of a wave. Waves exchange kinetic energy for potential energy, meaning that particles begin to slow down the further they move from their original position. Once the kinetic energy of a wave has passed through a medium, its constituents are restored to a resting state that has been little altered by the passage of a wave.
Waves are known as an energy transport phenomenon, a disturbance that travels through a medium from one particle to the next. Waves may be compromised of sound, water and even electromagnetic energy. The energy of a wave can be measured in terms of frequency and wavelength, regardless of the type of wave or through which medium it can travel. Waves that are made of electromagnetic energy do not require a medium and are able to transfer energy through the vacuum of space.Learn more about Optics & Waves
Mechanical waves require a medium to travel through so that they can transmit energy. Some examples of mechanical waves are water waves, sound waves and the waves of a slinky or jump rope. The medium through which a mechanical wave moves through can be a fluid, solid or gas.Full Answer >
Electromagnetic waves carry electromagnetic energy, also known as electromagnetic radiation, through matter, empty space, momentum and angular momentum. Depending on their frequency and wavelength, electromagnetic waves create different types of phenomena, including visible light, infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, radio waves, gamma rays, x-rays and microwaves.Full Answer >
The rest position in a wave is the position in which the wave would sit if there was no disturbance moving through it, which is sometimes also called the equilibrium position. The amplitude of a wave is measured as the distance from the crest of a wave to its equilibrium point, or rest position. The rest position can be thought of as the mean line through a wave.Full Answer >
Sound occurs as a result of the back-and-forth vibration of sound waves travelling across a medium. A sound wave is sometimes referred to as a pressure wave because it contains repeating patterns of high-pressure and low-pressure regions.Full Answer >