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Physics LibreTexts

4: Wave Types

  • Page ID
    26017
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    Transverse waves are the type of wave you usually think of when you imagine a wave. The motion of the material constituting the wave is up and down so that as the wave moves forward the material moves perpendicular (or transverse) to the direction the wave moves. Examples of transverse waves include waves on a string and electromagnetic waves. Water waves can be approximately transverse in some cases.

    Key Terms:

    Transverse wave, longitudinal wave, compressional wave, torsional wave, wavelength, wave vector, wave period, amplitude, wave frequency, angular frequency, electromagnetic waves, sound waves, water waves, S-waves, P-waves, Rayleigh waves, Love waves, \(v=\lambda f\).


    4: Wave Types is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Kyle Forinash and Wolfgang Christian via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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