Properties of Waves
The basic properties (parts) of a wave include: frequency, amplitude, wavelength and speed.
- Frequency is a measure of how many waves pass a point in a certain amount of time.
- The higher the frequency, the closer the waves are together and the greater the energy carried by the waves will be.
- Amplitude is a measure of the distance between a line through the middle of a wave and a crest or trough.
- The greater the force that produces a wave, the greater the amplitude of the wave and the greater the energy carried by the wave.
- The highest point of a transverse wave is the crest and the lowest point is called a trough.
- In a transverse wave the higher the wave, the higher the amplitude.
- Sounds with greater amplitude will be louder; light with greater amplitude will be brighter.
- Wavelength is a measure of the distance from the crest on one wave to the crest on the very next wave.
- Shorter wavelengths are influenced by the frequency.
- A higher frequency causes a shorter wavelength and greater energy.
- Speed is a measure of the distance a wave travels in an amount of time.
- The speed of a wave is determined by the type of wave and the nature of the medium.
- As a wave enters a different medium, the wave’s speed changes. Waves travel at different speeds in different media.
- All frequencies of electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed in empty space.