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Waves

Light waves, sound waves, and water waves

QuestionAnswer
Amplitude The distance from the midpoint to the crest (or to the trough) of a wave.
Diffraction Any bending of light by means other than reflection and refraction.
Dispersion The separation of light into colors arranged by frequency.
Doppler effect The change in frequency of a wave due to the motion of the source (or due to the motion of the receiver).
Electromagnetic spectrum The continuous range of electromagnetic waves that extends in frequency from radio waves to gamma rays.
Electromagnetic wave An energy-carrying wave produced when an electric charge accelerates.
Forced vibration The setting up of vibrations in an object by a vibrating source.
Frequency For a vibrating body, the number of vibrations per unit time. For a wave, the number of crests that pass a particular point per unit time.
Interference The combined effect of two or more waves overlapping.
Law of reflection The angle of reflection equals the angle of incidence.
Longitudinal wave A wave in which the medium vibrates in a direction parallel (longitudinal) with the direction in which the wave travels.
Natural frequency A frequency at which an elastic object naturally tends to vibrate.
Opaque The term applied to materials that absorb light without reemission.
Period The time required for a vibration or a wave to make a complete cycle.
Reflection The returning of a wave to the medium from which it came when it hits a barrier.
Refraction The bending of waves due to a change in the medium.
Resonance A dramatic increase in the amplitude of a wave that results when the frequency of forced vibrations matches an object’s natural frequency.
Transparent The term applied to materials through which light can pass in straight lines.
Transverse wave A wave in which the medium vibrates in a direction perpendicular (transverse) to the direction in which the wave travels.
Wave A disturbance that travels from one place to another transporting energy, but not necessarily matter, along with it.
Wavelength The distance from the top of one crest to the top of the next one, or, equivalently, the distance between successive identical parts of the wave.
Created by: 1571702254