Wave Types and Characteristics Huy Nguyen

Wave characteristics

The Crest is the wave on the top side of the black line. A trough is the point of the amplitude on the bottom side of the black line. The amplitude is the distance the crest or trough is from the center point. The wavelength is the distance between successful crests, like a sound wave or electromagnetic wave.

Longitudinal wave is a wave vibrating in the direction of propagation which means it can move in anyway like a wave. This type of wave moves like a spring.

Transverse wave is a moving wave that consists of oscillations occurring perpendicular (right angled) to the direction of energy transfer (or the propagation of the wave). Imagine a ripple in the pond. It moves differently from a longitudinal wave.

A surface wave is a seismic wave that travels across the surface of the Earth as opposed to through it. Surface waves usually have larger amplitudes and longer wavelengths than body waves, and they travel more slowly than body waves do.

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