Wave Properties
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by Natalie Dyer
| 7 Questions
Note from the author:
Basic properties of transverse and longitudinal waves
Information and graphics adapted from https://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/demos/waves/wavemotion.html

# The P waves (Primary waves) in an earthquake are examples of Longitudinal waves. The P waves travel with the fastest velocity and are the first to arrive.

To see a animations of spherical longitudinal waves check out:
• Sound Radiation from Simple Sources
• Radiation from Cylindrical Sources
1
1
Look at the animations of longitudinal waves above. What happens to the particles of matter (red dot) as the waves move through them?
They do not move at all.
They move up and down, but come back to their original position.
They move side to side, but come back to their original position.
They travel down the screen with the wave and do not come back to their original position.
2
1
The P-waves move fastest and arrive first. (This is why they're called Primary Waves.)
True
False
3
1
In a longitudinal wave the particles move ______________________ to the direction of the wave.
Parallel (in the same direction)
Perpendicular (across the wave's direction)

# The S waves (Secondary waves) in an earthquake are examples of Transverse waves. S waves propagate (move) with a velocity slower than P waves, arriving several seconds later.

4
1
Look at the animation of the transverse wave above. What happens to the particles of matter (red dot) as the waves move through them?
They do not move at all.
They move up and down, but come back to their original position.
They move side to side, but come back to their original position.
They travel down the screen with the wave and do not come back to their original position.
5
1
In a transverse wave the particles move ______________________ to the direction of the wave.
Parallel (in the same direction)
Perpendicular (opposite)
6
1
The S-waves move fastest and arrive first. (This is why they're called Secondary Waves.)
True
False

# Water waves are an example of waves that involve a combination of both longitudinal and transverse motions. As a wave travels through the waver, the particles travel in clockwise circles. The radius of the circles decreases as the depth into the water increases. The animation at right shows a water wave travelling from left to right in a region where the depth of the water is greater than the wavelength of the waves. I have identified two particles in orange to show that each particle indeed travels in a clockwise circle as the wave passes.

7
1
Look at the animation of the water wave above. If you were on a surf board in the ocean, how would you move in relation to the wave?
I would not move at all.
I would move up and down, but come back to my original position.
I would move side to side, but come back to my original position.
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