# Description of a Wave

## Description of a Wave

• A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from one point to another without transferring matter.
• Waves can be described by their amplitude, wavelength, frequency and speed.
• The amplitude of a wave refers to the maximum displacement of the wave from its rest position. This is essentially the ‘height’ of the wave from its midpoint.
• Wavelength is the distance between two identical points on the wave, such as the distance between two peaks or two troughs. It’s often represented by the Greek letter lambda (λ).
• Frequency is the number of waves that pass a fixed point in a given period of time. It is measured in hertz (Hz). A higher frequency indicates a higher number of waves passing a point per second.
• The speed of the wave is the velocity at which the wave is travelling. It is typically calculated by multiplying the frequency of the wave by its wavelength.
• Waves can be classified into two main types: transverse waves and longitudinal waves.
• Transverse waves are those where the displacement of the medium (where the wave is travelling through) is perpendicular to the direction of the wave. Examples of transverse waves include light waves and waves on a string.
• Longitudinal waves are those where the displacement of the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave. Sound waves travelling through air are examples of longitudinal waves.
• Each wave also consists of crests and troughs. Crests are the highest points on the wave, while troughs are the lowest points.
• The period of a wave is the time taken for one complete cycle of the wave to pass a particular point. It is the reciprocal of the frequency.
• The concept of wave interference deals with the phenomenon that occurs when two or more waves combine to form a new wave. This can lead to constructive interference (where waves add up to form a larger wave) or destructive interference (where waves cancel each other out).