15 terms

Waves Vocabulary

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Amplitude
a measure of the energy carried by a wave.
Compressional Wave
a type of wave where the matter in the medium moves back and forth in the same direction that the wave travels
Constructive Interference
when two or more waves hit the same point and combine to produce a larger single wave.
Crest
highest point of a transverse wave
Destructive Interference
when two or more waves hit the same point and combine to produce a smaller single wave.
Diffraction
describes the bending of waves around a barrier; can also occur when waves pass through a narrow opening
Frequency
measures how many wavelengths pass a fixed point each second and is expressed in hertz, Hz.
Medium
any material - a solid, liquid, gas, or combination of these - that a wave transfers energy through.
Rarefaction
the least dense region of a compressional wave
Rest Position
the position of the wave with no energy.
Refraction
bending of a wave as it changes speed, moving from one medium to another.
Transverse Wave
a type of wave, such as a water wave, where matter in the medium moved back and forth at right angles to the direction that the wave travels
Trough
lowest point of a transverse wave
Wave
a rhythmic disturbance that transfers energy through matter or space; exists only as long as it has energy to carry
Wavelength
distance between on point on a wave and the nearest point just like it on the following wave; as frequency increases, wavelength always decreases.
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