• Document: Unit 12.3 Waves Topic 1: Types of waves
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Unit 12.3 Waves Topic 1: Types of waves Topic 1 deals with the properties and types of waves (see Syllabus pp. 28–29). It covers: • Longitudinal waves. • Transverse waves. • Electromagnetic waves. • Sound waves. • Earthquake waves. When a soccer player kicks a ball into the goal net, kinetic energy carried by the ball is transferred to the net. This is an example of energy transfer by a particle. A pulse or a wave may also transfer energy. A pulse is a disturbance that travels between two points in a medium. The energy carried by a pulse is transferred from one point to another, but the particles of the medium do not travel between these points – they vibrate about their equilibrium (at rest) position and pass on the energy to neighbouring particles. A wave consists of a series of pulses. There are two types of wave motion – longitudinal waves and transverse waves. • Longitudinal waves are waves where the particles of the medium vibrate parallel to the direction of energy transfer, eg sound waves. movement string – moves of hand expansions backwards and backwards forwards – as and forwards wave passes compressions undisturbed slinky    wave movement Longitudinal wave moving along a slinky. • Transverse waves are waves where the particles of the medium vibrate at right angles to the direction of energy transfer, eg water waves and waves along strings. 04_SAV_P12_78829_PPS.indd 45 27/08/12 3:07 PM 46 Unit 12.3 Waves wave movement hump slinky fixed here movement of hand from string – moves side to side from side to side    as wave passes Transverse wave moving along a slinky. A wave can be described by the following properties: wavelength (λ) crest amplitude axis λ trough Wave properties. • The amplitude of a wave, A, is the maximum displacement of a particle from its equilibrium position. • The wavelength, λ, is the distance between two corresponding points on the wave – measured in m. • The frequency of a wave, f, is the number of waves that pass a point every second – measured in Hz. • The period of a wave, T, is the time it takes for one complete wave to pass a point (s). 1 T= f The speed of a wave, v, can be calculated using the wave equation: v = fλ © Oxford University Press www.oup.com.au 04_SAV_P12_78829_PPS.indd 46 27/08/12 3:07 PM Topic 1: Types of waves 47 Example A A vibrating tuning fork produces a sound of 540 Hz. The speed of sound in air is 330 m s–1. Calculate the wavelength of the sound. Answer: v λ= = 330 = 0.61 m f 540 In nature, there are many examples of energy transfers involving waves, such as electromagnetic waves, sound waves and earthquake waves. Electromagnetic waves short

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