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Waves, Sound, and Light

Terms in this set (40)

Waves carry particles of energy away from its source. Light and sound are both considered waves because they both do this and also do other things that waves do. Sound waves are longitudinal, so they have rarefractions and compressions. Light waves are electromagnetic, so they have electric and magnetic fields. Both sound and light waves reflect. Light waves reflect in many place, but is easily seen with a mirror. If you shine a flashlight at a mirror and look at the mirror, you will see the shine of the flashlight just as well as you would if someone were pointing it at you. When sound reflects, it is called an echo. If you yell somewhere with walls, like a canyon, your voice will reflect off the walls and you will hear your yell once or more again. The opposite of reflection is refraction, and sound and light do this, too. Sound is absorbed in, most commonly, theaters because the audience does not want to hear the lines echo, so the sound is absorbed into soft materials on the walls. Light is absorbed when it shines through the air. as light shines, particles of air absorb some of the light particles, so the light gets dimmer. Sound and light also both refract, or move from one medium to another. Light refracts, for example, when it moves from water to air, which is why we see objects underwater in a different place than it really is, because the light is bending, or refracting. Sound also refracts, for example, when it moves from air to water. When you are underwater in a pool that is playing music above the water, you can hear the music because they waves are refracting. Both types of waves also diffract, or pass or bend through an opening. Sound diffraction is the reason you can hear music around a corner, because the sound waves are bending. Light diffraction is shown when a lit room's door is open and you can see the light in the hallway because the waves are passing through the opening. Finally, sound and light both have interference. If two singers are singing the same note, the sound will be louder than if just one of the singers were singing it because the waves are overlapping and blending. If you shine two beams of light of the same color in the same place, the light will be brighter because the waves are combining.