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Unit 6: Waves

Physical Science Unit Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Frequency the number of waves that pass a fixed point in a given amount of time
Period the time it takes to complete one cycle
Wave velocity distance traversed by a periodic, or cyclic, motion per unit time (in any direction)
Amplitude height of wave
Transverse Wave the motion of the particles is perpendicular (up and down) to the direction of the wave
Compression a region in a longitudinal wave where the particles are closest together
Mechanical Wave waves that require a medium to travel
Electromagnetic Wave (non-mechanical) waves that do not require a medium
Surface Wave a 90 degree wave that travels along the interface between differing media
Longitudinal Wave particles in a medium vibrate parallel ( back and forth) to the direction of the wave
Reflection the bouncing back of a wave when it meets a surface or boundary
Refraction the bending of waves when they pass from one medium to another
Diffraction occurs when a wave passes through an opening and spreads out
Interference the combination of two or more waves of the same frequency that results in a single wave
Rarefaction a region in a longitudinal wave where the particles are furthest apart.
medium matter through which waves travel
constructive interference occurs when two or more waves hit the same point and combine to make a larger single wave
destructive interference occurs when two or more waves hit the same point and combine to make a smaller single wave
Created by: legrande89