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Waves

TermDefinition
wave a disturbance that transmits energy through matter or space
medium the matter through which a wave travels that determines the speed of a wave
crest the highest point of a transverse wave
trough the lowest point of a transverse wave
amplitude the greatest distance that a particles in a medium move from their normal position when a wave passes; half the vertical distance between the crest and the trough of a wave
wavelength the distance between any to successive identical parts of a wave
period the time required for one full wavelength to pass a certain point
frequency the number of vibrations (crests) that occur in a one second time interval. Measured in Hertz (Hz)
wave speed the speed at which a wave passes through a medium Equation: frequency X wavelength
doppler effect an observed change in the frequency of a wave when the source or observer is moving
reflection the bouncing back of a wave as it meets a surface or boundary
diffraction the bending of a wave as it passes an edge or an opening
interference the combination of two or more waves that exist in the same place at the same time
refraction the bending of waves due to speed change as they pass from one medium to another
constructive any interference in which waves combine so that the resulting wave is bigger than the original wave
destructive any interference in which waves combine so that the resulting wave is smaller than the original wave
standing wave a wave form caused by interference that appears not to move along the medium
node region of no vibration caused by destructive interference
anti-node region of maximum vibration caused by constructive interference
mechanical wave wave that requires a medium through which to travel ex: sound wave
electromagnetic wave a light wave caused by a disturbance in electric and magnetic fields and does not required a medium
transverse wave a wave that causes the particles of the medium to vibrate perpendicularly to the direction the wave travels
longitudinal wave a wave that causes the particles of the medium to vibrate parallel to the direction the wave travels