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Light: A Wave and a

Particle, Physical Science


LESSON 3

“WAVES”
Objective
At the end of the lesson, you should be
able to cite examples of waves (e.g.,
water, stadium, sound, string, and light
waves).
Waves are disturbances produced by
vibrating particles of matter. They
transfer energy as they propagate
through a medium or space.
Waves can be classified in two
ways. They can be classified based
on (1) how they propagate; and (2)
the orientation of the wave
propagation relative to the
direction of energy transfer.
Mechanical and
Electromagnetic Waves
Waves can be classified based
on how they propagate or their
ability to transmit energy
through a vacuum. They can be
either mechanical or electroma
gnetic waves.
There are waves that can only
propagate when a medium is
available; they are
called mechanical waves.
Some examples of these waves
are:
Sound Waves

which can travel fastest on solids.

Water Waves

which need water to propagate.

Seismic Waves
Which can travel through and on
the surface of Earth.
Stadium Waves
which can propagate through the
movement of the people in a stadium.

Slinky, string, and jump


rope waves

which can propagate when used.


There are waves that can still travel
even without a medium. These type
of waves are
called electromagnetic (EM) waves.
They are produced by the vibration
of charged particles. There are
seven EM waves arranged either
from increasing frequency or
decreasing wavelength. They are
the following:
Radio Waves
which are used to transmit
radio and TV signals.

Microwaves
which are used in microwave ovens
and in sending messages through
cellular phones.

Infrared
which has a medical application
in detecting heat leaks.
Visible Light
which is the only EM wave that can
be seen by the naked eye.
Ultraviolet
which is blocked by the ozone layer
because too much of this can
skin cancer.
X-Rays
which can penetrate through most of
the things and also used for medical
purposes.
Gamma Rays
which are more penetrating than
X-rays and also used for
medical purposes.
Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

Waves carry energy, and the direction of


the energy transfer relative to the direction
of the wave is the other way of classifying
waves. Waves can either
be longitudinal or transverse.
Longitudinal waves propagate
parallel to the direction of the
energy transfer. The movement
of these waves is back and
forth, and they carry the energy
in that direction as well.
Longitudinal waves are
composed of regions of
compressions and rarefactions.
Compressions are regions where
the particles are closest to each
other. Rarefactions are regions
where the particles are furthest
from each other. Examples of
these waves are the sound
waves and earthquake waves.
Transverse waves propagate
perpendicular to the direction
of the energy transfer. They
move in up and down manner
and they carry the energy back
and forth. These waves are
composed of various parts such
as crests, troughs, amplitudes,
and wavelengths.
The crest is the top of the wave
while the trough is the bottom of the
wave. The amplitude is the
maximum displacement of the
wave from the horizontal axis or its
origin. The wavelength refers to
distance between a crest and a
crest or a trough and a trough.
Examples of these waves are
the EM waves and waves on a
string.
Surface waves are the
combination of transverse and
longitudinal waves. How will you
describe the movement of a
surface wave?
Key Points
Waves can be classified in two ways. They can be
classified based on (1) how they propagate; and (2)
the direction of wave propagation relative to the
direction of energy transfer.
Mechanical waves need a medium to propagate.
Examples of mechanical waves are water waves and
sound waves.
Electromagnetic waves do not need any medium to
propagate. Examples of these waves include
microwaves and X-rays.
Transverse waves travel perpendicularly relative to the
direction of energy transfer.
Longitudinal waves travel in a parallel direction
relative to the direction of energy transfer.