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or a longitudinal wave (P wave) like a sound wave in which case it's forward and backward in the same direction as the waves direction of travel.
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For instance, wiggling a skipping rope produces a transverse wave where the shape of the rope looks like a sinusoid.
Sound moving through air produces a longitudinal wave formed by pressure compression and rarefaction of the air.
Longitudinal waves move particles back and forth parallel to the wave propagation. (direction of travel of the wave).
Transverse waves move the particle perpendicular to the direction of wave travel.