Waves do not carry matter but they transfer energy.
There are two main types of wave: Transverse Waves and Longitudinal Waves. Below is some information and examples of both:
- A transverse wave moves across the direction in which the wave is travelling.
- An example of a transverse wave is the sea - imagine the shape of a wave.
- Another good example is a light wave.
- Longitudinal waves look like this: ||| | | || || | |||| | | | ||
- They have a series of compressions and rarefractions.
- A compression is when the wavelength (distance between each wave) is small.
- A rarefraction is when the wavelength is large.
- Longitudinal waves pass on energy as a series of vibrations.
- These are sound waves.
- Wavelength. The wavelength is the length of a wave e.g. the distance between one crest (high part) and the next crest.
- Frequency. Measure of how many waves pass in one second.
- Amplitude. The distance between the crest of the wave and the centre line.
- Formulae. There are two main formulae on the topic of waves:
- Velocity (m/s) = frequency (Hz) x wavelength (m)
- Speed (m/s) = distance (m) / time (s)