# Wavelength, Frequency, Speed and Amplitude

## Wavelength, Frequency, Speed and Amplitude

• Wavelength: This term represents the actual length of one complete wave cycle, measured from crest to crest or trough to trough. It is typically reported in units such as metres, centimetres, or nanometres.
• Frequency: Frequency indicates how many complete wave cycles occur in a specific time period, typically one second. The unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz), with 1 Hz equaling one wave cycle per second.
• Wave speed: This is the speed at which the wave transfers energy through a medium. The speed of a wave can be found by multiplying its wavelength by its frequency (wave speed = wavelength x frequency). The units of wave speed are metres per second (m/s).
• Amplitude: Amplitude refers to the height of the wave, measured from the rest position (the midline) to the top of a crest or the bottom of a trough. It is indicative of the amount of energy carried by the wave, with waves of higher amplitude carrying more energy.
• Some important relationships to note include that the speed of a wave equals the product of the wavelength and frequency (v = f λ). Because the wavespeed in a given medium is constant, if the frequency of a wave increases, the wavelength must decrease in order to maintain this equality, and vice versa.
• Other properties of waves you should be familiar with include period, which is the time taken for one complete cycle of the wave to pass a given point, and phase, which refers to the position on the wave cycle at a particular point in space and time.
• Keep in mind that different types of waves, including transverse waves (like light or water waves) and longitudinal waves (like sound or secondary earthquake waves) have these properties, but the way these properties are exhibited can vary based on the type of wave.
• Understanding these features of waves is vital to understanding wave behaviours such as reflexion, refraction, diffraction, and interference. Practice working with these concepts and formulas, in both theoretical and real-world scenarios.
• Beyond just knowing these definitions, you should strive to understand how these wave properties interact with each other and how they can be manipulated in scientific and technological applications.
• The best way to fully grasp these concepts is through working with practical examples and questions, allowing you to test your application of the theory and understanding of the formulas.