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Waves Vocabulary

Vocabulary on different types of 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 Types include longitudinal waves, transverse waves, and surface waves.
Electromagnetic Waves Waves that move through vacuums.
Types of Electromagnetic Waves Types include light waves, radio waves, and x-rays.
Wave Properties The four main characteristics of a wave. The properties include amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and wave speed.
Amplitude One half the distance between a waves high point and low point.
Crest. A wave's high point.
Trough A wave's lough point.
Resting Point The middle of a wave.
Wavelength and symbol The distance between two successive crests. The symbol for this is λ.
Wavelength Units The unit of measurement is in meters.
3 Ways to measure wavelength are: 1.) Measuring the distance between two successive crests. 2.)Measuring the distance from one compression in a longitudinal wave to another compression. 3.) By dividing the wave speed by the frequency of a wave.
Frequency The number of waves that pass a fixed point in a given unit of time.
Units for Frequency The unit of measurement is in hertz (Hz).
Wave Speed The time it takes a wave to move from one point to another.
Wave Speed Units The unit of measurement is in velocity (v).
Wave Speed Equation Wave Speed = Frequency x Wavelength
Medium Matter in which waves travel through.
Reflection When a wave bounces off a surface. An example is when you look into a mirror and are able to see yourself because the light waves have reflected off of the mirror.
Law of Reflection The law that states that waves reflects at the same angle as the angle that it moved toward the barrier.
Reflected Ray The wave that is reflected from a barrier at the same angle as the incoming angle.
Incident Ray A wave that moves towards a barrier and will later be reflected on the barrier at the same angle that it is directed towards.
Refraction The bending of waves as they travel through different mediums. This is caused by waves traveling at different speeds in different mediums or substances. An example distorted light waves of a pencil in a cup of water.
Diffraction The bending of waves around a barrier or the spreading of waves past small openings. An example when ocean waves come through a jetty or pier.
Interference The result of waves colliding with each other.
Constructive Interference When waves collide to combine to form a larger wave.
Destructive Interference When waves collide to 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 All colors except the color of the object shown being absorbed.
Reflected Colors The color that is reflected off an object. The color that is not absorbed by an object.
Electromagnetic Spectrum A range of wavelengths from thousands of meters to a trillionth of a meter long. The order of this is from low to high energy is radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultra-violet waves, x-rays, and gamma rays.
Visible Light Spectrum Lights that humans can see. The lights in this are between 700 nanometers and 400 nanometers.
Longitudinal Wave A wave that oscillates in the same direction as it moves.
Expansion An area of lower density in a longitudinal wave.
Compression An area of higher density in a longitudinal wave.
Intensity How much energy the sound wave carries past a certain area.
Units of Sound The unit of measurement is in decibels (dB).
Pitch Out perception of sound wave frequency.
Analog Signal Signals that carry information but vary continuously in both amplitude and frequency.
Digital Signal Signals that send information as wave pulses, and communicate only through 1s and 0s, so the form that the information takes is much simpler
Created by: TheMan79
 

 



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