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Sound and Light Ch 1

Vocabulary terms for Sound and Light, Chapter 1

TermDefinition
Wave A disturbance that transfers energy from place to place
Energy The ability to do work
Medium Material through which a wave travels
Mechanical Wave A wave that requires a medium through which to travel
Vibration A repeated back and forth or up and down motion
Transverse Wave A wave that moves the medium in a direction perpendicular to the direction in which the wave travels
Crest The highest part of a transverse wave
Trough The lowest part of a transverse wave
Longitudial wave A wave that moves the medium parallel to the direction in which the wave travels
Compression The part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are close together
Rarefaction the part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are far apart
Surface Wave A wave that occurs at the surface between two mediums
Amplitude The maximum distance the particles of a medium move away from their rest positions as a wave passes through the medium
Wavelength The distance between two corresponding parts of a wave
Frequency The number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time.
reflection The bouncing back of a wave when it hits a surface through which it cannot pass
angle of incidence The angle between an incoming wave and an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the surface of the barrier or new medium
angle of reflection The angle between a reflected wave and an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the surface of the barrier
refraction The bending of waves as they enter a different medium
diffraction the bending of waves around a barrier
interference the interaction between waves that meet
constructive interference the interference that occurs when two waves combine to make a wave with a larger amplitude
destructive interference the interference that occurs when two waves combine to make a wave with a smaller amplitude
standing wave a wave that appears to stand in one place, even though it is really two waves interfering as they pass through each other
node a point of zero amplitude on a standing wave
antinode a point of maximum amplitude on a standing wave
resonance the increase in the amplitude of vibration that occurs when external vibrations match the object's natural frequency.