# wave speed

## calculating wave frequency or wavelength from wave speed

The equation for wave speed (above) can be rewritten as: Frequency = Speed Wavelength or Wavelength = Speed Frequency Therefore, if you know the speed of a wave and either the wavelength or wave frequency, you can calculate the missing value. For example, suppose that a wave is traveling at a speed of 2 meters per second and has a wavelength of 1 meter. Then the frequency of the wave is: Frequency = 2m/s 1m = 2 waves/s, or 2 Hz Q: A wave is traveling at a speed of 2 m/s and has a frequency of 2 Hz. What is its wavelength? A: Substitute these values into the equation for wavelength: Wavelength = 2m/s 2waves/s =1m

## the medium matters

The speed of most waves depends on the medium, or the matter through which the waves are traveling. Generally, waves travel fastest through solids and slowest through gases. Thats because particles are closest together in solids and farthest apart in gases. When particles are farther apart, it takes longer for the energy of the disturbance to pass from particle to particle through the medium. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

## wave speed wavelength and wave frequency

Wave speed is related to both wavelength and wave frequency. Wavelength is the distance between two correspond- ing points on adjacent waves. Wave frequency is the number of waves that pass a fixed point in a given amount of time. This equation shows how the three factors are related: Speed = Wavelength x Wave Frequency In this equation, wavelength is measured in meters and frequency is measured in hertz (Hz), or number of waves per second. Therefore, wave speed is given in meters per second, which is the SI unit for speed. Q: If you increase the wavelength of a wave, does the speed of the wave increase as well? A: Increasing the wavelength of a wave doesnt change its speed. Thats because when wavelength increases, wave frequency decreases. As a result, the product of wavelength and wave frequency is still the same speed. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

## calculating wave speed from wavelength and wave frequency

The equation for wave speed can be used to calculate the speed of a wave when both wavelength and wave frequency are known. Consider an ocean wave with a wavelength of 3 meters and a frequency of 1 hertz. The speed of the wave is: Speed = 3 m x 1 wave/s = 3 m/s Q: Kim made a wave in a spring by pushing and pulling on one end. The wavelength is 0.1 m, and the wave frequency is 2 hertz. What is the speed of the wave? A: Substitute these values into the equation for speed: Speed = 0.1 m x 2 waves/s = 0.2 m/s

## the speed of a wave

Wave speed is the distance a wave travels in a given amount of time, such as the number of meters it travels per second. Wave speed (and speed in general) can be represented by the equation: Speed = Distance Time

## instructional diagrams

No diagram descriptions associated with this lesson

## questions

speed can be calculated with the equation

``````a) speed = distance x time.

-->  b) speed = distance/time.

c) speed = time/distance.

d) none of the above
``````

which equation correctly shows the relationship between wave speed, wavelength, and wave frequency?

``````-->  a) wave speed = wavelength x wave frequency

b) wave speed = wavelength/wave frequency

c) wave speed = wave frequency/wavelength

d) none of the above
``````

light always travels at the same speed, but it can have different frequencies and wavelengths. if the frequency of light decreases, its wavelength

``````-->  a) increases.

b) decreases.

c) stays the same.

d) may increase or decrease.
``````

the wavelengths of four different waves are listed below. if all four waves have the same speed, which wave has the highest frequency?

``````-->  a) wave a: 0.001 m

b) wave b: 0.01 m

c) wave c: 0.1 m

d) wave d: 1.0 m
``````

the speed of most waves depends on the medium.

``````-->  a. true

b. false
``````

waves generally travel fastest through gases and slowest through solids.

``````a. true

-->  b. false
``````

## diagram questions

No diagram questions associated with this lesson