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Sound and Light PH V

Sound and Light PH Vocabulary

TermDefinition
wave A disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another. A Wave Transports Energy and Not Matter.
longitudinal wave A mechanical wave in which the energy of the wave travels in the same direction as the medium. ex: sound waves, slinky pushed back and forth like an accordian.
medium A substance or material that carries the wave.
mechanical wave An energy wave that requires a medium through which to travel. CANNOT travel through space; sound, a mechanical wave, cannot travel through space but light, an electromagnetic wave, can travel through space.
crest The highest point on a transverse wave.
transverse wave A wave through which energy travels at right angles to the direction of the wave. ex: wiggling a jump rope up and down or back and forth. ALL light waves are transverse waves.
trough The lowest point on a transverse wave.
compression The points where molecules of matter are squeezed together on a longitudinal wave.
rarefaction The points where molecules of matter are spread apart on a longitudinal wave.
amplitude The maximum disturbance from a wave's rest position (normal). Remember: rest to crest
wavelength The distance between a point on one wave and the same point on the next wave; usually trough to trough or crest to crest.
frequency The number of waves that pass a certain point each second.
seismic wave Waves produced by earthquakes; they move in all directions from the point of origin.
primary wave Seismic waves that are longitudinal; Also called P-waves, they travel fastest and arrive at a specific point (a seismometer or a house) first.
secondary wave Seismic waves that are transverse; also called S-waves. Cannot travel through liquids so they stop at Earth's liquid core.
reflection When a wave hits a surface through which it cannot pass and bounces back.
refraction (light) The bending of a light as it enters a new medium. EX: light waves bend when passed through a prism = rainbow.
elasticity The ability of a material to bounce back after being disturbed.