University of Auckland/Department of Physics/Physics 102/Types of Waves

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There are 2 types of waves:

- Longitudinal (along) e.g. sound
- Transverse (perpendicular) e.g. light

Longitudinal Waves

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Longitudinal Waves
  • These are waves where the vibrations are going in the same direction as the wave.
  • These Waves Must travel though matter.
  • An example of a longitudinal wave is sound waves.

Plane pressure wave
Representation of the propagation of a longitudinal wave on a 2d grid (empirical shape)

Transverse Waves

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Transverse Waves
  • These are waves where the vibrations are going perpendicular to the direction of the wave.
  • These waves can travel though a vacuum.
  • An example of a transverse wave is light waves.

Transverse plane wave

Rating: This page is very useful, a good summary of notes with interesting images makes this page helpful and clear. Contains the main notes for 102. Definitely a page to keep and to refer to when in doubt. Spar300

I agree with the previous comment. This page is very clear. I especially found the images v.useful. Jshe128

Earth Quakes

Types of Waves Demos

If you want a visual presentation of longitudinal and transverse waves follow the link:
Visual Presentation of Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

Grandpa John --- this link provides a very good summary on waves, if you're lazy to read notes on waves, jus watch this video on types on waves. the only down side, is the to video short. However Grandpa John gives good clear explanations. for more video's by grandpa John go to i give this site 3.5/5 stars Spar300

Longitudinal Waves

Reuben's Tube