Characteristics and properties of waves by mrs kujawski
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Characteristics and Properties of Waves By: Mrs. Kujawski. PAGES 14-17 IN TEXTBOOK A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from place to place. Energy is the ability to do work . Vibration is a repeated back-and-forth or up-and-down motion .

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Characteristics and properties of waves by mrs kujawski

Characteristics and Properties of Waves

By: Mrs. Kujawski


PAGES 14-17 IN TEXTBOOK

A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from place to place.

Energyis the ability to do work.

Vibration is a repeated back-and-forth or up-and-down motion.

A wave is then created when a source of energy causes a medium to vibrate.

A disturbance is temporary.

THINK: When a ball floats in the ocean and a wave comes and DISTURBS the ocean, the ball is also DISTURBED.


  • A wave travels through a material called a medium.

  • Examples of mediums: air, water, rope, etc.

  • Mediums can be solids, liquids, or gasses.

  • Waves that require a medium to travel through are called mechanical waves.

  • THINK: M & M (medium & mechanical waves)


  • There are 2 types of waves: transverseand longitudinal.

  • A combination of the two is called a surface wave.


  • Transverse waves move across the medium at a right angle. They have crests and troughs.

  • THINK: A capital T has a right angle in it. Transverse has Troughs.

  • A crest is the highest part of the wave and a trough is the lowest part.


  • Longitudinal waves move particles of a medium in the direction of the wave. They have compressions and rarefactions.

  • Rarefactions are parts where the coils are spread out or rarefied.

  • Compressions are when the coils are close together.

  • THINK: RAREfactions = You Rarely see a coil all spread out. (picture a slinky)

  • THINK: Compressions Compress Close together.


  • Surface waves are a combination of transverse and longitudinal waves .

  • They form circular motions.

  • Surface waves have crests and troughs.

  • They move up-and-down and back-and-forth.

  • THINK: Combination / circular motion

  • THINK: Surface waves happen at the surface of the ocean.


PAGES 18-23 IN TEXTBOOK longitudinal waves .

The basic properties of waves are amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and speed.

Longitudinal and Transverse waves are related because crests are similar to compressions.

Amplitude is the maximum distance the medium carrying the wave moves away from its rest position.

Wavelength is the distance between two corresponding parts of a wave.

Frequency is the number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time.

The speed of a wave is wavelength times the frequency.


  • Amplitude longitudinal waves .is the maximum distance the medium carrying the wave moves away from its rest position.

  • You measure from the line going through the middle of the wave to the height of the wave. (Can measure up or down)

  • THINK: more ENERGY = more AMPLITUDE


  • Wavelength longitudinal waves .is the distance between two corresponding parts of a wave.

  • You measure from one crest to the next crest or from one trough to the next trough.

  • THINK: wavelength is the length of one wave


  • Frequency longitudinal waves .is the number of complete waves that pass a given point in a certain amount of time.

  • You measure how often a wave occurs.

  • Frequency is measured in hertz.

  • THINK : More often = higher frequency

  • THINK: Less often = lower frequency


  • The longitudinal waves .speed of a wave is wavelength times the frequency.

  • They are all related by a mathematical formula.

  • SPEED = WAVELENGTH x FREQUENCY


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