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901-B: Transverse vs. Longitudinal Waves

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901-B: Transverse vs. Longitudinal Waves

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Transverse and Longitudinal waves in a Slinky:


A transverse wave looks like moving crests and troughs.


A longitudinal wave looks like a moving compression.

  1. Is wave (a) a transverse or a longitudinal wave?
  2. Is wave (b) a transverse or a longitudinal wave?

Making Waves

To make a transverse slinky wave, move the slinky side-to-side OR up-and-down.

To make a longitudinal slinky wave, move the slinky in-and-out OR pluck the slinky.

  1. I stretch a slinky out in the hallway, and shake it left to right. What kind of wave do I make?
  2. I stretch a slinky out in the hallway, and pluck it. What kind of wave do I make?
  3. I stretch a slinky out in the hallway, and move it quickly in and out. What kind of wave do I make?
  4. I stretch a slinky out in the hallway, and shake up and down. What kind of wave do I make?
  5. How can you make a transverse wave with a slinky?
  6. How can you make a longitudinal wave with a slinky?

More Transverse and Longitudinal Waves

Rules:

For each wave, state if it is transverse or longitudinal.

  1. A sound wave.
  2. A light wave.
  3. Any electromagnetic wave.
  4. An ultrasonic wave (a sound wave with a frequency higher than humans can hear)
  5. An ultraviolet wave.

Answers:

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