02 Waves and Wave Motion

  • Wave: A wave is a pattern of disturbance which travels through a medium due to repeated vibrations of the particles of the medium.
  • The disturbance is handed over from one particle to the next.
  • Sound is pictorially represented by a continuous succession of peaks and valleys.
  • Wave Motion: The motion of the disturbance is called wave motion.

TYPES OF WAVES

Waves are of two types:

  • Longitudinal waves
  • Transverse waves

LONGITUDINAL WAVES

  • These are the waves in which the particles of the medium vibrate along the direction of wave motion.
  • The waves which travel along a spring (or slinky) it is pushed and pulled at one end, are longitudinal waves.
  • A longitudinal wave consists of two attributes travelling through a medium:
    • Compressions and
    • Rarefactions
  • Compression:
    • It is a part of longitudinal wave.
    • Compression is a region of high pressure.
    • In compression, particles of the medium are closer to one another than they normally are.
    • There is a momentary reduction in volume of the medium during compression.
  • Rarefaction: It is a part of longitudinal wave. Rarefaction is a region of low pressure. In rarefaction the particles of the medium are farther apart than normal, and there is a momentary increase in the volume of the medium.

TRANSVERSE WAVES

  • In transverse waves, the particles of the medium vibrate perpendicular to the direction of wave motion.
  • Transverse waves can be produced only in solids and liquids but not in gases.
  • A transverse wave travels horizontally in a medium, the particles of the medium vibrate up and down in the vertical direction.
  • A transverse wave consists of
    • Crests and
    • Troughs
  • Crest:  Crest is the ‘elevation’ in a transverse wave.
  • Trough: Trough is the ‘depression’ in a transverse wave.

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