# Longitudinal and transverse waves

Electromagnetic waves are produced by the vibration of charged particles. The air motion which accompanies the passage of the sound wave will be back and forth in the direction of the propagation of the sound, a characteristic of longitudinal waves. For a sinusoidal wave, the particles oscillate in a simple harmonic motion. One could imagine a wire with lights where the color at each pointon the rope varied continuously and sinusoidal as the oscillatingpattern moves along a wire. This sliding action that is characteristic of liquids and gases prevents one particle from displacing its neighbor in a direction perpendicular to the energy transport.

In a wave, particles of the medium are temporarily displaced and then return to their original position. Longitudinal waves can always be quickly identified by the presence of such regions. The above categories represent just a few of the ways in which Longitudinal and transverse waves categorize waves in order to compare and contrast their behaviors and characteristic properties.

Light and water waves are transverse. This causes the diaphragm of the ear to oscillate which is then detected by the sound sensing neurons. The wave is seen as the motion of the compressed region ie, it is a pressure wavewhich moves from left to right. An electromagnetic wave is a wave that is capable of transmitting its energy through a vacuum i.

A wave is a method of transferring energy. The loudspeaker is driven by the amplified output of a tunable oscillator. It must be noted that unlike the transverse waves, the longitudinal waves only have one direction of oscillation.

While waves can have complexshapes, we have found that nearly all wave processes can berepresented as being built up of plane waves, i. As one particle begins to move it must be able to exert a pull on its nearest neighbor. A longitudinal wave travels by pressure gradients, and are usually omnidirectional. If the medium is not rigid as is the case with fluids, the particles will slide past each other. While we normally call a wave a sound wavebecause it is in the frequency range where a human can hear it,really all compression waves are the same as sound waves in theirbasic physics.

In a longitudinal wave, particles of the medium are displaced in a direction parallel to energy transport. This is the type of wave you see.

In solids, elastic waves donot have to be compression waves, they can also be shear waveswhere waves os matter vibrate up and down, perpendicular to thedirection of motion. This is directly analogousto the properties of a sound wave and it is, therefore, an exampleof a longitudinal wave.

Longitudinal waves vibration is parallel to the direction of propagation and transverse waves vibrations are perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. The animation portrays a medium as a series of particles connected by springs.

Thus, the imaginary color wave would be longitudinal. If the particles of the material medium vibrated in a perpendicular direction to the direction of propagation of the wave then it is said to be TRANSVERSE If the particles vibrate parallel to the direction of propagation then it will be longitudinal. In other words, the energy is propagated through the oscillation of particles.Longitudinal waves are often demonstrated by pushing and pulling a stretched slinky spring. In the diagram, the compressions move from left.

Transverse vs Longitudinal Waves. Transverse waves and longitudinal waves are the two main types of wave propagation.

These two concepts are extremely important and are particularly useful in explaining many phenomena related to wave mechanics.

One way to categorize waves is to say that there are longitudinal and transverse waves. In a transverse wave, particles of the medium are displaced in a direction perpendicular to the direction of energy transport.

In a longitudinal wave, particles of the medium are displaced in a direction parallel to energy transport. Longitudinal and Transverse Wave Motion. Mechanical Waves are waves which propagate through a material medium (solid, liquid, or gas) at a wave speed which depends on the elastic and inertial properties of that medium.

Categorizing waves on this basis leads to three notable categories: transverse waves, longitudinal waves, and surface waves. A transverse wave is a wave in which particles of the medium move in a direction perpendicular to the direction that the wave moves. The difference between transverse and longitudinal waves is the direction the medium of the wave moves in relation to the direction of wave propagation.

In transverse waves, the medium is displaced perpendicular to the direction of the wave.

Longitudinal and transverse waves
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