## Waves

##### Created by:

vanbeever  on May 4, 2011

##### Description:

vocabulary from waves unit

Physics

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# Waves

 PeriodThe time it takes for one complete vibration/oscillation/cycle. Units are in seconds. The inverse of frequency
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#### Definitions

Period The time it takes for one complete vibration/oscillation/cycle. Units are in seconds. The inverse of frequency
Frequency The number of cycles/vibrations/oscillations per second. Units are the Hertz (Hz) which stands for cycles/sec. The inverse of period.
Simple Harmonic Motion
Motion that repeats.
Crest
The highest point of a wave.
Trough The lowest point of a wave
Amplitude The distance from equilibrium point to the highest or lowest point of a wave. In mechanical waves it is proportional to the energy of the wave.
Wavelength The distance from crest to crest or trough to trough or any point on a wave to the next point where it repeats the motion.
Equilibrium point The resting position of an oscillator where it would eventually come to rest.
Wave speed Dependent on properties of the medium such as density and temperature.
Transverse wave
A wave whose medium oscillates at right angles to the direction of the waves' energy.
Wave A vibration in space and time.
Longitudinal wave A wave whose medium oscillates parallel to the direction of the waves' energy.
Compression A region of high pressure of the medium in a longitudinal wave.
Rarefaction A region of low pressure of the medium in a longitudinal wave.
Electromagnetic waves
Travel at the speed of light. Do not require a medium. The denser the medium, the slower it travels.
Mechanical waves Require a medium. The denser the medium the faster they travel.
Interference
The interaction between 2 or more waves.
Constructive interference When two waves interact and result in an increased amplitude.
Destructive interference When two waves interact and result in decreased amplitude.
Reflection
When a wave bounces of a boundary and travels in a new direction.
Refraction The bending of a wave due to a change in the medium's properties.
Diffraction The bending of a wave around an obstacle or through a hole.
Absorption When a wave encounters a boundary and as a result, loses some or all of its energy.
Standing wave A stationary wave pattern formed in a medium when two sets of identical waves pass through the medium in opposite directions.
Reverberation A reflection of a sound wave
Doppler effect
change in the apparent frequency of a wave as observer and source move toward or away from each other
Radio waves longest wavelength and lowest frequency light wave.
medium The matter that transmits the energy of the wave. Does not travel with the wave's energy.
Infrared waves Sensed as heat.
Visible light wave What humans are able to detect with eyes.
Ultraviolet waves Has enough energy to ionize DNA
X-Rays Are absorbed by bones.
Gamma rays Electromagnetic waves with the shortest wavelengths and highest frequencies. Stars naturally emit these.
node the place in a standing wave where there is no displacement
anti-node the place in a standing wave where there is maximum displacement
pitch corresponds to frequency in sound

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