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Waves & EM Spectrum

Words about sound waves, light waves, and the electromagnetic spectrum

TermDefinition
radio wave a wave with long wave length, low frequency
microwave a wave used for long-distance, satellite and space communications, and fast cooking
infrared wave invisible light with a wavelength longer than red
visible light the entire color spectrum that we can see
ultraviolet light invisible light with a wavelength shorter than violet & is blocked by sunscreen
x-ray wavelength is much shorter than visible light. It allows for deep penetration into many substances.
gamma ray shortest wavelength, high energy, very penetrating; used to diagnose and treat cancer
wave a disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another
transverse wave a wave that moves matter up and down perpendicular to the direction the wave travels
electromagnetic wave charged particles that can move energy through a vacuum like light waves; these waves travel at the same speed as light, but have different wavelengths and frequencies
longitudinal wave a wave in which matter moves back and forth in the same direction as the wave
crest the top of a wave
trough the bottom of a wave
wavelength the distance from one spot on a wave to the same spot on the next wave
amplitude the distance from the middle of a wave (rest position) to the crest or trough
frequency the number of waves that pass a point in one second. It is measured in hertz.
medium the matter or substance through which a wave is transmitted. Sound waves must have a medium to travel through. Different substances can affect the speed of a wave.
compression an area of a longitudinal wave where the particles are closest together
rarefaction an area of a longitudinal wave where the particles are spread apart
reflection the bouncing of a wave off the surface
Law of Reflection the angle of incidence of a light ray is equal to the angle of reflection
refraction the bending of light rays or any wave. This can be observed when light passes through water.
dispersion the spreading of white light into its component colors when it passes through a prism
ROY G BIV stands for the colors of the visible spectrum
temperature this can effect the speed of a sound wave
high frequency as it increases the wavelength becomes shorter
vacuum a space in which there is no matter. Sound waves are unable to travel through them.
diffraction the bending of a wave around the edge of a barrier; when a beam of light spreads out as a result of passing through a narrow opening or across an edge
mechanical wave moves energy through a medium. Examples include ocean waves, seismic (earthquake) waves, sound waves.
Raging Martians Invaded ROY G BIV Using X-ray Guns a sentence to help remember the order of the wavelengths in the EM Spectrum starting with the longest wavelength
surface wave a type of wave that is a combination of longitudinal and transverse waves
Created by: Ms Potts