transverse wave

what is a transverse wave

A transverse wave is a wave in which particles of the medium vibrate at right angles, or perpendicular, to the direction that the wave travels. Another example of a transverse wave is the wave that passes through a rope with you shake one end of the rope up and down, as in the Figure 1.1. The direction of the wave is down the length of the rope away from the hand. The rope itself moves up and down as the wave passes through it. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Q: When a guitar string is plucked, in what direction does the wave travel? In what directions does the string vibrate? A: The wave travels down the string to the end. The string vibrates up and down at right angles to the direction of the wave.

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s waves

Transverse waves called S waves occur during earthquakes. The disturbance that causes an earthquake sends transverse waves through underground rocks in all directions away from the disturbance. S waves may travel for hundreds of miles. An S wave is modeled in the Figure 1.3.

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crests and troughs

A transverse wave is characterized by the high and low points reached by particles of the medium as the wave passes through. The high points are called crests, and the low points are called troughs. You can see both in the Figure below.

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instructional diagrams

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questions

a mechanical wave is a wave that travels through matter.

-->  a. true

b. false

the matter a mechanical wave travels through is called the medium.

-->  a. true

b. false

examples of transverse waves include the wave that travels through a

a) guitar string when you pluck it.

b) spring toy when you shake it from side to side.

c) bungee cord when you shake it up and down.

-->  d) all of the above

earthquake waves travel in all directions away from the disturbance that causes the earthquake.

-->  a. true

b. false

s waves travel through underground rocks.

-->  a. true

b. false

diagram questions

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