Rays and Wave Fronts

Light, Sound and ripples on the water surface are ell examples if waves.
  • They all transfer energy from place to place
  • They do this without net motion of the medium through which they travel
  • They all involve oscillations or vibrations of one sort or another
A continuous wave involves a succession of individual oscillations. A wave pulse involves just one oscillation. All waves can be classified as longitudinal or transverse. Examples are:
Wave and Type Example of Energy Transfer
Sound Waves - Longitudinal When the sound waves hit a surface they make it vibrate
Wave Ripples - Transverse A floating Object Gains Gravitational Potential Energy as it Moves up and Kinetic Energy as it Moves
Light Waves - Transverse Light waves are in the Form of photons which carry energy
Earthquake P Waves - Longitudinal P waves compress and expand the Earths s interior
Earthquake S Waves - Transverse S waves move the Earths surface move up and down
Waves on a Stretched StringĀ  - Transverse Waves on a string produce sound waves when the string vibrates
Compression Waves on a Stretched Spring - Longitudinal Compressions pass along the spring when one end is jerked

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