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Energy Waves
Electromagnetic and Mechanical Wave Vocabulay
21
Science
10/23/2013

Term
 wave Speed
Definition
 A measurement of how fast a wave travels through a medium. Measured by measuring the distance a given point on the wave travels in a certain amount of time. S=d/t
Term
 reflection
Definition
 Describes a change in the direction of a wave that results when it "bounces" of a barrier.
Term
 refraction
Definition
 Describes a change in the direction of a wave as it travels from one medium to another. Results in a reduction of the speed of a wave as well.
Term
 diffraction
Definition
 Describes a change in the direction of a wave as they mass through an opening or a barrier.
Term
 wave interference
Definition
 A phenomenon that occurs when two waves meet while traveling in the same medium.
Term
 constructive interference
Definition
 A type of interference that occurs when two waves are traveling in the same direction and have the same displacement.
Term
 destructive interference
Definition
 A type of interference that occurs when two waves are traveling in opposite directions and have the same displacement.
Term
 displacement
Definition
 The act of an object moving, or being moved, from its original position.
Term
 mechanical wave
Definition
 A type of wave that transfers energy through a medium in a parallel motion. Also called a compression wave.
Term
 electromagnetic wave
Definition
 A type of wave that transfers energy without a medium in a perpendicular motion. Also called a transverse wave.
Term
 wave
Definition
 A disturbance that transfers energy from one location to another as it travels through a medium.
Term
 frequency
Definition
 How often the particles of a medium vibrate when a wave passes through the medium.
Term
 crest
Definition
 The point on a wave from rest to the maximum positive displacement of a transverse wave.
Term
 medium
Definition
 The physical environment that a disturbance is moving through.
Term
 hertz
Definition
 The unit of measurement for frequency (Hz). 1 Hz = 1 vibration/second
Term
 amplification
Definition
 An increse in the amplitude of a mechanical wave.
Term
 trough
Definition
 The point on a wave from rest to the maximum negative displacement of a transverse wave.
Term
 compression
Definition
 The point in a medium where a longitudinal wave is traveling at it's maximum density.
Term
 rarefaction
Definition
 The point in a medium where a longitudinal wave is traveling at it's least dense.
Term
 wavelength
Definition
 The measurement of one wave cycle, measured as the distance from crest to crest, or from trough to trough.
Term
 amplitude
Definition
 The measurement of displacement a particle experiences in a medium, measured from rest to crest or trough.
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