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Waves 1

Waves carry energy from one place to another.
These waves make the material in which they are travelling vibrate as they pass through it.
The individual particles of the material do not move along, they simply vibrate as the wave energy is passed to them. A fishing float or a cork will simply bob up and down as a water wave passes it the float does not move along in the direction that the wave is moving.

Properties of waves
WAVELENGTH - the distance from one crest to another or one trough to another.
(In fact generally from any point on the wave to the next exactly similar point)
FREQUENCY - the number of vibrations of any part of the wave per second. The bigger the frequency the higher the pitch of the note or the bluer the light
AMPLITUDE - the maximum distance that any point on the wave moves from its mid position. The bigger the amplitude the louder the sound, the rougher the sea or the brighter the light
SPEED - how fast the wave transfers energy from one place to another. This is about 330 m/s for sound in air and a massive 300 000 000 m/s for light in space.

© Keith Gibbs 2011