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Waves Vocab

wave a disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another, made by vibrations
transverse wave a wave in which the direction of the wave travels is perpendicular (right angles) to the direction of the disturbance
longitudinal wave a wave that travels in the same direction as the disturbance, parallel
mechanical wave waves that transfer energy through matter
Electromagnetic waves do not require particles to move and therefore can travel through a vacuum
electromagnetic radiation includes light and radio
trough lowest point (valley) of a wave
crest highest point (peak) of a wave
node place in an interference pattern where no motion occurs
amplitude for transverse waves: the distance between the resting point (or equilibrium) to the crest or trough
wavelength the distance from one wave crest to the very next crest. (This may also be measured from trough to trough.)
reflection when a wave bounces with incident angle equaling final angle
refraction the bending of a wave as it enters a new medium at an angle other than 90 degrees
interference the meeting and combining of waves, often happens when waves cancel each other
periodic motion Any motion that repeats in a regular cycle; harmonic (both need to be known)
velocity how fast a crest moves
frequency number of waves per unit time, hertz
speed changes to cause a wave to bend
period time required for one complete wave cycle
rarefaction when molecules are spread apart
compression place where air particles are close together
lamda wavelength
velocity in light and air 3.00 x10^8
hertz unit of frequency