Amplitude is the distance from the midpoint to the crest or trough of the wave. Wavelength is the distance from one crest to the next one or one trough to the next one.
Frequency is the number of complete vibrations that a wave makes in a given period of time, usually one second. The unit we use to measure frequency is hertz (Hz)
The period of a wave is the time it takes for one complete vibration. Formulas: Freq = 1/period Period = 1/freq
Wave Motion – Transporting Energy Wave speed – Speed is related to frequency and wavelength. Formulas: Wave speed = freq x wavelength
Types of Waves Transverse –Vibrations that are at right angles to the direction of wave travel –The direction of wave travel is perpendicular to direction of the vibrating source
Longitudinal –Direction of wave travel is along the direction in which the source vibrates –Vibrations are parallel to the direction of energy transfer –Area where waves are close together is a compression
–The stretched region, between compressions, is called a rarefaction –Both compressions and rarefactions together make up the longitudinal wave
Sound travels in Longitudinal waves The wavelength of a sound wave is the distance between successive rarefactions The molecules in the air vibrates
Because sound travels by making the molecules vibrate, sound can not travel through a vacuum such as space. It needs a medium. Otherwise, there are no molecules to compress and stretch
Our subjective impression about the frequency of sound is described as pitch. A high pitch sound like from a tiny bell has a high vibration frequency
Sound from a large bell has low pitch b/c its vibrations are a low frequency The human ear can normally hear pitches from 20 – 20,000 hertz As we age, this range shrinks
Sound frequencies below 20 hertz are called infrasonic Frequencies above 20,000 are called ultrasonic. What are some ways we use ultrasonic waves?