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Wave A periodic disturbance in a solid,liquid, or gas as energy is transmitted through a medium.
Medium A physical environment in which phenomena occur.
Mechanical Wave A wave that needs a medium in which to travel.
Transverse Wave A wave in which the particles of the medium move perpendicularly to the direction the wave is traveling.
Longitudinal Wave A wave in which the particles of the medium vibrate parallel to the direction of wave motion.
Compression Part of the longitudinal wave where the particles bunch up closer together.
Rarefraction Part of the longitudinal wave in which the particles expand and move apart.
Electromagnetic Wave A wave that consists of electric and magnetic fields that vibrate at right angles to each other.
Reflection The bouncing back of a ray of light,sound, or heat when the ray hits a surface that is does not go through.
Refraction The bending of a wave as the wave passes between the 2 substances in which the speed of the wave differs.
Diffraction A change in the direction of a wave when the wave finds an obstacle or an edge, such as an opening.
Transmission The passing of light or other form of energy through matter.
Absorption In optics, the transfer of light energy to particles of matter.