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Waves Definitions

TermDefinition
Wave Disturbance that carries energy from one place to another
Transverse Wave Where the direction of vibration is perpendicular to the propagation of the wave
Longitudinal Wave Where the direction of vibration is parallel to the propagation of the wave
Mechanical Wave Where particles are vibrated
Electromagnetic Wave Disturbance/vibration of electric and magnetic fields
Periodic Travelling Wave Regularly repeating cycle that appears to move in the direction of propagation of the wave
Crest Highest point of a transverse wave
Trough Lowest point of a transverse wave
Oscillation One complete vibration of the source
Wavelength Distance from a point on a wave to the corresponding point on an adjacent wave
Frequency Number of waves passing a point per second
Amplitude Maximum distance from the undisturbed position
Velocity of a wave Product of wavelength and frequency
Reflection When a wave bounces off an object in its path
Refraction When a wave changes direction going from one medium to another
Diffraction When a wave spreads out into space beyond a barrier
Interference The addition of two or more waves, forming a single resultant wave
Constructive Interference When two or more waves combine, resulting in a single wave of greater amplitude than the source waves
In phase When the crests from one source meet crests from another
Destructive Interference When two or more waves combine, resulting in a single wave of smaller amplitude than the source waves
Coherent Wave Sources Sources that produce waves of the same frequency that are either in phase or a constant phase difference apart
Interference Pattern When waves from two or more coherent sources combine; it contains a repeating pattern of constructive and destructive interference
Polarisation When the direction of vibration of a wave is restricted to one plane
Created by: conordesmond