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Waves

TermDefinition
Wave A repeated disturbance or vibration that transfers energy from one place to another
Vibration Repeated back and forth or up and down motion
Medium Material through which waves can travel. It can be solids, liquids, or gases.
Vacuum Empty space; sound waves cannot travel through this
Mechanical Wave Type of wave that can transfer energy in an up and down motion or in a side to side motion
Transverse Wave Type of wave that carries energy in an up and down motion
Longitudinal Wave Type of wave that carries energy in a side to side / back and forth motion
Crest Top of a transverse wave
Trough Bottom of a transverse wave
Compression This occurs when the waves are very close together on a longitudinal wave
Rarefraction This occurs when the waves are spread apart on a longitudinal wave
Amplitude The distance from the middle of the wave to the crest (or trough)
Wavelength The distance from one crest to the very next crest or from one trough to the very next trough
Frequency How many wave cycles a wave goes through in a certain amount of time
Wave Speed How fast a wave is travelling
Refraction The bending of a light wave as it travels from one medium to another medium
Prism This is a tool used to demonstrate refraction (or diffraction grating) to show white light separating into the colors of the rainbow
Reflection When a light wave bounces off a surface since it is not entirely transmitted or reflected
Mirror This tool is used to demonstrate reflection
Echo When a sound wave reflects, this occurs
Transmission When a light wave travels through an object
Transparent When light waves travel completely through an object and create a clear image
Translucent When light waves travel partially through an object and create an image that is not totally clear
Opaque When light waves are unable to travel through an object
Absorption This occurs when a wave's energy is not transferred through or reflected through a given medium
Convex Lens This tool creates larger images such as a magnifying glass
Light Waves This is an example of a transverse wave and can travel through mediums and a vacuum
Sound Waves This is an example of a longitudinal wave and can only travel through mediums
Energy Waves carry this from place to place; the ability to do work or cause change
Constructive Interference When 2 waves collide and the crest of one wave lines up with the crest of the second wave causing the wave to become stronger
Destructive Interference When 2 waves collide and the crest of one wave lines up with the trough of the second wave cause the wave to become weaker or even cancel out
Created by: jmarek15