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# Waves

TermDefinition
waves oscillations that carry energy
oscillation an up-and-down or back-and-forth motion
vacuum space that has no matter in it
mechanical waves waves that move through matter
types of mechanical waves - water waves - sound waves
electromagnetic waves waves that move through vacuums
types of electromagnetic waves - light waves - x-rays - radio waves
wave properties (definition) the four main characteristics of a wave
amplitude one-half the distance between a wave's high point and low point; measures how much a wave is displaced from its resting point
crest a wave's high point
trough a wave's low point
resting point the position the medium would take if there were no wave
wavelength & symbol measured from a point on one wave to the same point on another wave; the Greek letter lambda
wavelength units meters (m)
3 ways to measure wavelength are: 1) crest-to-crest 2) trough-to-trough 3) resting point-to-resting point
frequency number of waves that pass a fixed point in a given unit of time
units for frequency hertz (H2) (number of waves per second)
wave speed the time it takes for a wave to move from one point to another
wave speed units meters per second (m/s)
wave speed equation frequency * wavelength (v=f*lambda)
medium A substance that makes possible the transfer of energy from one location to another
reflection (and example) when a wave bounces off a surface; when you look into a mirror, you see yourself because the light waves have been reflected off the surface
law of reflection explains that waves get reflected in a particular way - a wave gets reflected at the same angle as it moved toward the barrier
reflected ray the wave bouncing off something
incident ray the wave moving toward something
refraction (and example) the bending of waves as they travel through different mediums; why your legs look really short when standing in a pool
diffraction (and example) the bending of waves around a barrier or the spreading of waves past small openings; when ocean waves come through a jetty or pier
interference the result of waves colliding with each other
constructive interference when waves collide, they combine to form a larger wave
destructive interference when waves collide, they interfere with each other and cancel each other out
absorption the transfer of energy from a wave to matter as the wave passes through it
absorbed colors the light waves going into an object [colors that absorb more light rays (dark colors), heat up when in light]
reflected colors the light waves being reflected to show different colors
electromagnetic spectrum (know order and describe) the wavelengths and frequency range of electromagnetic waves - radio waves - microwaves - infrared waves - visible light - ultraviolet waves (UV rays) - x-rays - gamma rays
visible light spectrum colors in the visible spectrum from longest to shortest wavelength: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet
longitudinal wave a wave that oscillates in the direction as it moves (sound waves)
expansion the wavelength of longitudinal waves spreading apart
compression the wavelength of longitudinal waves getting closer together
intensity (of sound) how much energy the sound wave carries past a certain area; the amplitude determines the intensity; the closer you are to a sound the higher the intensity and vice versa
units of sound decibels (dB)
pitch our perception of sound wave frequency
analog signal signals that carry info but vary continuously in both amplitude and frequency (much more susceptible to interference)
digital signal signals that send info as wave pulses and communicate only through 1s and 0s, so the form that the info takes is much simpler
Created by: 2022josk

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