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IPC 5G

Waves

TermDefinition
Wave A disturbance traveling through a medium where energy is transferred from one particle of the medium to another without causing any permanent displacement of the medium itself.
Medium The substance or material that carries a wave. Only mechanical waves require a medium.
Mechanical waves A wave that is not able to transmit its energy through a vacuum; they require a medium in order to transmit energy.
Electromagnetic waves A wave that is able to transmit its energy through a vacuum; they do not require a medium in order to transmit energy.
Crest The part of a wave with greatest magnitude; the highest part of a wave.
Trough The part of a wave with the least magnitude; the lowest part of a wave.
Amplitude One half the full extent of a vibration, oscillation, or wave.
Wavelength The distance between one peak or crest of a wave of light, heat, or other energy and the next peak or crest.
Frequency The rate at which a repeating event occurs, such as the full cycle of a wave; usually measured in Hertz (Hz).
Period The time it takes to complete one cycle.
Transverse wave A wave, such as an electromagnetic wave, that is propagated in a direction perpendicular to the direction of displacement of the transmitting field or medium.
Longitudinal (compression) wave A wave that is propagated in the same direction as the displacement of the transmitting medium.
Compression An increase in density and pressure in a medium, such as air, especially when caused by the passage of a wave, such as a sound wave.
Rarefaction A decrease in density and pressure in a medium, such as air, especially when caused by the passage of a wave, such as a sound wave.
Reflection The change in direction of a wave, such as a light or sound wave, away from a boundary the wave encounters.
Refraction The turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density.
Diffraction Change in the directions and intensities of a group of waves after passing by an obstacle or through an aperture whose size is approximately the same as the wavelength of the waves.
Interference The pattern of pressure, brightness, amplitude, or other wave characteristic that comes from adding more than one wave of the same kind.
Constructive interference Occurs when waves add up to make a larger amplitude.
Destructive interference Occurs when waves add up to make a smaller amplitude.
Absorption Waves transfer energy to the material and it does not refract or reflect.
Electromagnetic spectrum The range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends.
Created by: tneal1