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Wave Unit

TermDefinition
Wave A disturbance that transfers energy from place to place
Medium Material through which a wave travels
Energy The ability to do work
Mechanical Wave A disturbance in matter that carries energy from one place to another
Surface Wave A wave that occurs at the surface between 2 mediums
Electromagnetic Waves Transverse waves consisting of changing electric fields and changing magnetic fields
Transverse Waves Waves that move the medium at right angles to the direction in which the waves travel.
Longitudinal Waves A wave in which the particles move parallel to the path of the wave
Crest Highest point of a wave
Trough Lowest point of a wave
Compression The part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are close together.
Rarefaction A part in a longitudinal wave where the particles are spread apart
Wavelength Horizontal distance between the crests or between the troughs of 2 adjacent waves
Amplitude Heigh of a wave
Frequency The number of complete wavelengths that pass a point in a given time.
Electromagnetic Spectrum All of the frequencies or wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation
Radio Waves Electromagnetic waves with the longest wavelengths and lowest frequencies
Infrared Rays Electromagnetic waves with shorter wavelengths and higher frequencies than microwaves
Visible Light Electromagnetic waves that you can see
Ultraviolet Rays (UV) Electromagnetic waves with wavelengths shorter than visible light, but longer than x-rays
X-Rays Electromagnetic radiation having a very short wavelength
Gamma Rays High-energy electromagnetic waves emitted from a nucleus as it changes from an excited state to a ground energy state
Reflection The bouncing back of a wave when it hits a surface through which it cannot pass
Refraction Bending of Light
Diffraction The bending of a wave as it moves around an obstacle or passes through a narrow opening
Interference The combination of 2 or more waves that results in a single wave
Constructive Interference The interference that occurs when 2 waves combine to make a wave with a larger amplitude
Destructive Interference The interference that occurs when 2 waves combine to make a waves with a smaller amplitude
Created by: tspence
 

 



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