VCE Together Year 12 Physics: Introduction to Wave Principles

Physics

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Introduction to Wave Principles

In this lesson on Wave Principles, which is part of Unit 4 Area of Study 1 for VCE Physics, you’ll learn how to:

  • explain a wave as the transmission of energy through a medium without the net transfer of matter
  • distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waves
  • identify the amplitude, wavelength, period and frequency of waves.

What are transverse, longitudinal and electromagnetic waves?

A transverse wave is a wave whose oscillations are perpendicular to the direction of the wave or path of propagation.

On the other hand, a longitudinal wave is a wave in which the displacement of the medium is in the same direction as, or the opposite direction to, the direction of propagation of the wave.

An electromagnetic wave is created as a result of vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field.

What are the differences between transverse and longitudinal waves?

In the following two videos, go over the properties of transverse and longitudinal waves with a demonstration of each in the second video.

What are the differences between mechanical and electromagnetic waves?

The video below goes over the properties of mechanical and electromagnetic waves, contrasting and explaining the differences between the two.

Wave Mechanics

Looking for more resources on concepts other than wave principles? Check out more of our VCE Physics resources here!

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