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Chapter 2

Waves

TermDefinition
Wave A disturbance involving the transfer of energy from one place to another
Energy The ability to do work
Medium The material through which a wave travels
Mechanical wave Waves that require a medium to travel
Vibration A repeated back and forth or up and down motion
Transverse wave A wave that vibrates the medium at right angles, or perpendicular to the direction the wave travels
Crest A high point on a transverse wave
Trough A low point on a transverse wave
Longitudinal Wave Vibrates the medium in the same direction the wave travels
Compression An area where the coils are close together
Rarefraction An area where the coils are spread out
Amplitude The maximum distance the medium vibrates from the rest position
Wavelength The distance between two corresponding parts of a wave
Frequency The number of waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time
Hertz Frequency is measured in this unit
Reflection When a wave hits a surface that it cannot pass through and it bounces back
Refraction When a wave enters a different medium at an angle causing the speed of the wave to change. The wave will bend.
Diffraction When waves bend around barriers or through an opening in a barrier
Interference The interaction of waves that meet
Constructive Interference Interference in which waves combine to form a wave that is bigger and has a larger amplitude than either of the two original
Destructive Interference Interference in which two waves combine to form a wave with a smaller amplitude than either of the two original waves
Standing Wave A wave that appears to be standing still even though it is two waves passing through each other
Resonance Increase in amplitude of a vibration that occurs when external vibrations match an object's natural frequency
Created by: Bmacyscience

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