Physics » Mechanical Waves and Sound » Summary of Transverse Waves

# Summary and Main Ideas

## Summary

• A wave is formed when a continuous number of pulses are transmitted through a medium.

• A crest is the highest point a particle in the medium rises to.

• A trough is the lowest point a particle in the medium sinks to.

• In a transverse wave, the particles move perpendicular to the motion of the wave.

• The amplitude ($$A$$) is the maximum distance from equilibrium position to a crest (or trough), or the maximum displacement of a particle in a wave from its position of rest.

• The wavelength ($$λ$$) is the distance between any two adjacent points on a wave that are in phase. It is measured in metres ($$\text{m}$$).

• The period ($$T$$) of a wave is the time it takes a wavelength to pass a fixed point. It is measured in seconds ($$\text{s}$$).

• The frequency ($$f$$) of a wave is how many waves pass a point in a second. It is measured in hertz ($$\text{Hz}$$) or $$\text{s^{-1}}$$.

• Frequency: $$f = \frac{1}{T}$$

• Period: $$T = \frac{1}{f}$$

• Speed: $$v = f·λ$$ or $$v = \frac{λ}{T}$$.

### Table: Units used in transverse waves

 Physical Quantities Quantity Unit name Unit symbol Amplitude ($$A$$) metre $$\text{m}$$ Wavelength ($$λ$$) metre $$\text{m}$$ Period ($$T$$) second $$\text{s}$$ Frequency ($$f$$) hertz Hz ($$\text{s^{-1}}$$) Wave speed ($$v$$) metre per second $$\text{m·s^{-1}}$$

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