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rate at which velocity changes


distance from the resting position to a crest or from the resting position to the trough

constructive interference

caused when two waves line up with one another, resulting in one wave with a larger amplitude than either of the original waves


high point in a wave

destructive interference

caused when the crest of one wave lines up with the trough of the other, resulting in the amplitude being smaller than that of the original waves

electromagnetic waves

waves that can travel through a vacuum (light, radio waves, etc.)


ability to change or move matter


mass x acceleration


measure of how many wavelengths pass a particular point in one unit of time

hertz (Hz)

unit for measuring frequency, equal to one wave per second


process by which two waves meet and occupy the same space at the same time, forming a new wave with different properties

kinetic energy

energy of motion

Law of Conservation of Energy

energy can never be created or destroyed

Law of Inertia

any object in motion will stay in motion and any object at rest will stay at rest until it is acted on by an unbalanced force

longitudinal wave

causes a medium to contract and expand along the direction the wave is travelling

mechanical energy

energy an object has as a result of its position or motion


matter through which a wave travels


mass x velocity

net force

overall force on an object

nonrenewable resources

energy sources that exist in limited supply

polarized light

light waves that vibrate in only a single direction

potential energy

stored energy

primary waves (p waves)

longitudinal seismic waves

renewable resources

energy sources that can be replaced in a short amount of time

secondary waves (s waves)

transverse seismic waves

seismic waves

elastic shock waves that travel through the earth


distance of travel in a unit of time

surface waves

waves that travel along the boundary between the ground and the air

transverse wave

causes medium to vibrate up and down


low point in a wave


a region with no matter in it


an object's speed in a particular direction


disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another


distance from one crest to the next or from one trough to the next


change in (for example, change in time)

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