Unit 3 - Waves and their Applications

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wave
a periodic disturbance in a solid, liquid, or gas as energy is transmitted through a medium
medium
the physical thing though which a wave travels
transverse wave
a wave in which the particles of the medium move perpendicularly to the direction the wave is traveling; some are mechanical waves others are electromagnetic waves
longitudinal wave
a wave in which the particles of the medium move parallel to the direction of wave motion. All are mechanical waves.
amplitude
the maximum distance that the particles of a wave's medium vibrate from their rest position; measured from rest up to crest or rest down to trough
wavelength
the distance from any point on a wave to an identical point on the next wave; measured crest to crest or trough to trough in transverse waves and compression to compression or rarefaction to rarefaction in longitudinal waves
wave speed
the speed at which a wave travels through a medium; sound waves travel fastest through solid and slowest through gasses
frequency
the number of waves produced in a given amount of time
perpendicular
intersecting at or forming right angles
parallel
extending in the same direction
rarefaction
The part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are far apart
compression
the part of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are close together
speed
Frequency times wavelength; how many meters per second a wave is traveling
mechanical waves
waves that require a medium to travel through; may be either transverse or longitudinal waves
electromagnetic waves
a wave that does not need a medium to travel through so it can transfer electric and magnetic energy through the vacuum of space; are always transverse waves
refraction
the bending of a wave caused by a change in its speed as it moves from one medium to another
reflection
the bouncing back of a wave of light, sound, or heat when the wave hits a surface which it cannot pass through
transmission
wave energy that is not absorbed by an object, but passes through it
absorption
wave energy that is transferred from one medium into another; the wave may disappear into the medium
vacuum
an empty space in which no particles and no pressure exists
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