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**General Properties of Waves**

Mrs. Gergel 2014

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**Properties of waves Waves can carry a little energy or a lot of energy**

They also vary in length and speed Basic properties of waves are: amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and speed

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Amplitude Amplitude- maximum distance the medium carrying the wave moves away from its rest position Measure of how much a particle in the medium moves when disturbed by the wave Amplitude of the wave is a direct measure of its energy The farther the medium moves as it vibrates the larger the amplitude

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**Amplitude of a transverse wave**

The amplitude of a transverse wave is the maximum distance the medium moves up or down from its rest position Amplitude can be found by measuring the distance from the rest position to a crest or a trough Amplitude Rest position

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**Amplitude of a longitudinal wave**

Amplitude of a longitudinal wave is a measure of how compressed or rarefied the medium becomes High energy vibrations cause the compressions to be very crowded Crowded compressions and uncrowded rarefactions mean that the longitudinal wave has a large amplitude Crowded compressions Uncrowded rarefactions

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Wavelength A wave travels a certain distance before it starts to repeat The distance between two corresponding parts of a wave is its wavelength

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**Wavelength of a transverse Wave**

Find the wavelength of a transverse wave by measuring the distance from crest to crest or trough to trough. This also works from rest position to rest position wavelength

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**Wavelength of a longitudinal wave**

You can find the distance of a longitudinal wave by measuring the distance from one compression to the next wavelength

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Frequency Frequency is the number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time Frequency can also be described as the number of vibrations per second Frequency is measured in units called hertz (Hz) Hertz = # wave/ second

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**Speed Sound and light waves travel at different speeds**

The speed of a wave is how far the wave travels in one unit of time, or distance divided by time Speed is measured in meters per second or m/s The speed, wavelength, and frequency of a wave are related to each other by a mathematical formula

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**Formulas Speed= Wavelength x Frequency**

If you know any two of the quantities in the speed formula, you can calculate the third Frequency= Speed/ wavelength Wavelength= Speed/ Frequency In a given medium and under the same conditions, the speed of the wave is constant

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