eguruchela

Transverse and longitudinal waves


One way to categorize waves is on the basis of the direction of movement of the individual particles of the medium relative to the direction that the waves travel. 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.

  • A longitudinal wave is a wave in which particles of the medium move in a direction parallel to the direction that the wave moves.

  • A sound wave traveling through air is a classic example of a longitudinal wave. As a sound wave moves from the lips of a speaker to the ear of a listener, particles of air vibrate back and forth in the same direction and the opposite direction of energy transport.


    traverse