Qualitative Wave Types and Characteristics By. Dylin SToen

The 3 Types of Mechanical Waves

Transverse Wave: The origin or disturbance that makes up the wave is perpendicular to the direction in which the wave travels in. An example of this wave occurring is a ripple that occurs in the water, the wave particles move up and down while the energy is transferred perpendicular. A Transverse wave has a crest, which are the highest points the wave can possibly go as well as a trough, which are the lowest points the wave can possibly go. This type of wave also has a medium which is the substance the wave travels through. A Transverse wave also has an amplitude which is the distance between either the medium and the crest or the medium and the trough. The period of this wave is the wave going in one full cycle starting and finishing at the same longitudinal distance. A Wave length is the horizontal distance of one cycle

Longitudinal Wave: The origin or disturbance that makes up the wave is parallel to the direction in which the wave travels in causing a compression that travels down the wave which consist of high pressure. Surrounding the compression is the "rarefaction" which consist of low pressure. An example of this wave occurring is sound traveling through the air. The period of this wave is the wave compression, rarefactions, then beginning to compress again.

.Surface Wave: A Surface wave is a combination of a longitudinal wave and a transverse wave. A particle in a surface wave goes in circle motion compressing at the top of the crest, this is where the transfer of energy takes place, and then rarefaction occurs when it gets to the trough of the wave. The higher placed particle pulls the next particle up and pushes it over, compressing the particle and transferring the energy, once the energy is transferred the particle circles back to its starting position until its pulled back up again by the particle behind it and the cycle continues. Therefore the wave particle is also moving up and down due to the circle motion the particle is going in. Example is the wave in a sea or air moving in constant circular motion

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