# What are the parts of a longitudinal wave?

## What are the parts of a longitudinal wave?

Lesson Summary Sound is an example of a longitudinal wave. A compression is where the particles of the medium are closest together, and a rarefaction is where the particles are farthest apart. Amplitude is the distance from the relaxed point in the medium to the middle of a rarefaction or compression.

## What is the bottom of a longitudinal wave called?

The bottom of a wave is called the trough.

What is the lowest point of the wave?

The highest surface part of a wave is called the crest, and the lowest part is the trough. The vertical distance between the crest and the trough is the wave height.

### What are the 3 main parts of a longitudinal wave?

Characteristics of Longitudinal Waves. As in the case of transverse waves the following properties can be defined for longitudinal waves: wavelength, amplitude, period, frequency and wave speed. However instead of peaks and troughs, longitudinal waves have compressions and rarefactions.

### Which part of a longitudinal wave is like the longitudinal waves compression and rarefaction?

As seen in Figure 9.2, there are regions where the medium is compressed and other regions where the medium is spread out in a longitudinal wave. The region where the medium is compressed is known as a compression and the region where the medium is spread out is known as a rarefaction.

Which is the lowest point of a transverse wave?

Key terms

Term (symbol) Meaning
Crest Highest point on a transverse wave. Also called the peak.
Trough Lowest point on a transverse wave.
Expansion A point of maximum spacing between particles of a medium for longitudinal waves.
Compression A point of minimum spacing between particles of a medium for longitudinal waves.

#### Is a region in a longitudinal wave where the particles are farthest apart?

Compression- a region in a longitudinal (sound) wave where the particles are closest together. Rarefaction- a region in a longitudinal (sound) wave where the particles are furthest apart.

#### What is the area of low density in a sound wave called?

Rarefaction is the reduction of an item’s density, the opposite of compression. Like compression, which can travel in waves (sound waves, for instance), rarefaction waves also exist in nature. A common rarefaction wave is the area of low relative pressure following a shock wave (see picture).

What is the compression of a longitudinal wave?

## Where can longitudinal waves be found?

Sound waves in air (and any fluid medium) are longitudinal waves because particles of the medium through which the sound is transported vibrate parallel to the direction that the sound wave moves. A vibrating string can create longitudinal waves as depicted in the animation below.

What is the rarefaction of a longitudinal wave?

The rarefaction (center). Longitudinal waves have energy that vibrates parallel to the medium – a compression is the region of greatest density and the rarefaction the region of highest density.

### Which part of a wave has the lowest density?

You can also think of a rarefaction in terms of density: The rarefaction is the part of the wave that has the lowest density. As you can see, the particle density varies in a perfect wave shape.

### What are the rarefactions of sound waves?

The rarefactions are the troughs of the wave. When a string vibrates, it moves forward and back. When it moves back, it leaves an area of low pressure in front of it that forms the rarefaction. All sound travels in longitudinal waves, so sound waves have rarefactions. As it travels in transverse waves, light doesn’t have rarefactions.

What does a transverse wave look like?

A transverse wave looks something like this: One example of a transverse wave is the light from the sun, which like all electromagnetic waves, is a vibration of magnetic and electric fields. That vibration is at 90 degrees to the direction the wave is moving, making it a transverse wave — it has no compressions or rarefactions.