Waves – Notes
Introduction to waves
Waves are series of disturbances which propagate from a source to the surroundings or a destination.
Waves are classified into three types:
• Mechanical waves
• Electromagnetic waves
• Matter waves
Mechanical waves are governed by Newton’s laws and need a medium to propagate.
Electromagnetic waves do not require any medium for propagation. They can travel through a vacuum too.
Matter waves are associated with moving electrons, protons, neutrons and other fundamental particles.
Transverse and longitudinal waves
Mechanical waves can be either transverse or longitudinal in nature.
In a transverse wave, the particles of the medium vibrate about a mean position in a direction normal to the direction of the propagation of the wave.
In a longitudinal wave, the particles of the medium vibrate about a mean position in a direction parallel to the direction of the propagation of the wave.