# Transverse and longitudinal waves

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Thread starter 2 years ago
#1
I’ve been asked to compare transverse and longitudinal waves. I understand that longitudinal waves may travel through gases, liquids and solid, but I’ve constantly found articles that say that transverse waves may only travel through solids. Since EM waves are examples of transverse waves how can this be right? Thanks for the help. Any other differences would be appreciated
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2 years ago
#2
(Original post by -1!)
I’ve been asked to compare transverse and longitudinal waves. I understand that longitudinal waves may travel through gases, liquids and solid, but I’ve constantly found articles that say that transverse waves may only travel through solids. Since EM waves are examples of transverse waves how can this be right? Thanks for the help. Any other differences would be appreciated
You can talk about the direction of oscillations for which transverse wave oscillates perpendicular to the direction of travel while longitudinal wave oscillates parallel to the direction of travel. Also longitudinal waves cannot be polarize while transverse wave can
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2 years ago
#3
Transverse waves can travel through all media. So can longitudinal.

You're right in pointing out Em waves, which don't require a medium and can travel through a vacuum.

In addition to above you can talk about peaks and troughts in transverse waves vs rarefactions and compressions in longitudinal
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#4
(Original post by StayWoke)
Transverse waves can travel through all media. So can longitudinal.

You're right in pointing out Em waves, which don't require a medium and can travel through a vacuum.

In addition to above you can talk about peaks and troughts in transverse waves vs rarefactions and compressions in longitudinal
Can all transverse waves travel through any medium? You couldn’t replicate a transverse wave on a string or rope if the string or rope was replaced by water or a gas
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2 years ago
#5
(Original post by -1!)
Can all transverse waves travel through any medium? You couldn’t replicate a transverse wave on a string or rope if the string or rope was replaced by water or a gas
Obviously a transverse waves causes by interaction between rope particles, can't take place in a gas because the gas particles don't have that same interaction
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#6
(Original post by StayWoke)
Obviously a transverse waves causes by interaction between rope particles, can't take place in a gas because the gas particles don't have that same interaction
But the rope example is an example of a transverse wave that cannot be done with a liquid or gas so how can all transerve waves go through any media?
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2 years ago
#7
I never said all transverse waves go through all media
Mechnical transverse waves can go through a solid and also liquid.
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#8
(Original post by StayWoke)
Transverse waves can travel through all media. So can longitudinal.

You're right in pointing out Em waves, which don't require a medium and can travel through a vacuum.

In addition to above you can talk about peaks and troughts in transverse waves vs rarefactions and compressions in longitudinal
I’m lost at this point, I though in the first line it was meant that all transverse waves can travel through all media but have I misinterpreted it?
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2 years ago
#9
(Original post by -1!)
I’m lost at this point, I though in the first line it was meant that all transverse waves can travel through all media but have I misinterpreted it?
A transverse wave can go through the rope and it lets you visualize its path through the rope. Even in water if you can see light coming at you, then isn't that mean transverse wave can travel through water ( and gases as well as you are able to see right now isn't it ). What you really mean is that you can't see the oscillating effect when the wave is going through a rope for example
Transverse wave can go through any medium, even vacuum, a wave is really just a propagation of energy and transverse wave is wave that the direction of oscillation is perpendicular to direction of the wave
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#10
(Original post by anhkiet1903)
A transverse wave can go through the rope and it lets you visualize its path through the rope. Even in water if you can see light coming at you, then isn't that mean transverse wave can travel through water ( and gases as well as you are able to see right now isn't it ). What you really mean is that you can't see the oscillating effect when the wave is going through a rope for example
Transverse wave can go through any medium, even vacuum, a wave is really just a propagation of energy and transverse wave is wave that the direction of oscillation is perpendicular to direction of the wave
So a transverse wave may travel through any medium like a rope can oscillate in water, but it may not be propagated by any medium? And what state of matter do we class EM waves as?
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2 years ago
#11
(Original post by -1!)
So a transverse wave may travel through any medium like a rope can oscillate in water, but it may not be propagated by any medium? And what state of matter do we class EM waves as?
EM waves are not matter, they are electromagnetic field and electric field oscillating perpendicular to each other (hence they can travel to vacuum as the fields act as a medium) and hence I said waves are just propagation of energy. Light which is EM waves (transverse wave) can travel through water, gas, etc. When you oscillate a rope in water, the medium is still the rope ( water act as external force that damp the rope from oscillating )
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#12
(Original post by anhkiet1903)
EM waves are not matter, they are electromagnetic field and electric field oscillating perpendicular to each other (hence they can travel to vacuum as the fields act as a medium) and hence I said waves are just propagation of energy. Light which is EM waves (transverse wave) can travel through water, gas, etc. When you oscillate a rope in water, the medium is still the rope ( water act as external force that damp the rope from oscillating )
Think I’m starting to get it, lastly, what’s the definition of propagate in this sense and how does it differ to travel? Is it that the transverse wave may travel through any medium, but can only be ‘made’ (propagated?) of a solid substance (except for the EM waves which are different)?
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2 years ago
#13
(Original post by -1!)
Think I’m starting to get it, lastly, what’s the definition of propagate in this sense and how does it differ to travel? Is it that the transverse wave may travel through any medium, but can only be ‘made’ (propagated?) of a solid substance (except for the EM waves which are different)?
wave they don't physically "move", they are the visualization of when energy moves through a medium and how the medium "reacts" to it. For which the medium particles actually move up and down because of energy propagation and give rise to the term "wave". Medium particles they only move up and down, they don't move in the direction of energy (unless we are talking about longitudinal wave which medium particles oscillate along the direction of energy travel
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#14
(Original post by anhkiet1903)
wave they don't physically "move", they are the visualization of when energy moves through a medium and how the medium "reacts" to it. For which the medium particles actually move up and down because of energy propagation and give rise to the term "wave". Medium particles they only move up and down, they don't move in the direction of energy (unless we are talking about longitudinal wave which medium particles oscillate along the direction of energy travel
So transverse waves, can they be propagated through any medium?
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#15
Can you give an example of a transverse wave that can travel through a gas or liquid?
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2 years ago
#16
(Original post by -1!)
So a transverse wave may travel through any medium like a rope can oscillate in water, but it may not be propagated by any medium? And what state of matter do we class EM waves as?
EM waves aren't matter waves. They don't travel using matter, but using the effects of the EM field itself.
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#17
(Original post by StayWoke)
EM waves aren't matter waves. They don't travel using matter, but using the effects of the EM field itself.
So EM waves are an example of a wave that is not propagated by any medium. What transverse waves are there than can travel through any medium?
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2 years ago
#18
(Original post by -1!)
So EM waves are an example of a wave that is not propagated by any medium. What transverse waves are there than can travel through any medium?
I think there are some confusing statements in the postings above. Note that when we are talking about waves, we can classify waves as mechanical waves or electromagnetic waves.

1. A mechanical wave is a disturbance that travels through some material or substance called the medium for the wave. As the wave travels through the medium, the particles that make up the medium undergo displacements of various kinds, depending on the nature of the wave.

Mechanical waves travel only within a material medium, such as air or water. Two familiar mechanical waves are sound waves and water waves.

Mechanical waves may be divided into two types, based on the direction of the particles' oscillations relative to that of the wave velocity.

In a transverse wave, the oscillation of particle in the medium is perpendicular to the direction of the wave velocity or direction of travel of the energy.

In a longitudinal wave, the oscillation of particle in the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave velocity or direction of travel of the energy.

Mechanical transverse waves can occur only in solids, whereas mechanical longitudinal waves can travel in solids, fluids, and gases.

2. Electromagnetic waves, from radio waves to visible light to gamma rays, are a self-sustaining oscillation of the electromagnetic field, that are generated by oscillating electric charges. Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves because the electric field and magnetic field are oscillating in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the wave. See below.

Electromagnetic waves require no material medium and can travel through a vacuum.

Hope it helps.
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#19
(Original post by Eimmanuel)
I think there are some confusing statements in the postings above. Note that when we are talking about waves, we can classify waves as mechanical waves or electromagnetic waves.

1. A mechanical wave is a disturbance that travels through some material or substance called the medium for the wave. As the wave travels through the medium, the particles that make up the medium undergo displacements of various kinds, depending on the nature of the wave.

Mechanical waves travel only within a material medium, such as air or water. Two familiar mechanical waves are sound waves and water waves.

Mechanical waves may be divided into two types, based on the direction of the particles' oscillations relative to that of the wave velocity.

In a transverse wave, the oscillation of particle in the medium is perpendicular to the direction of the wave velocity or direction of travel of the energy.

In a longitudinal wave, the oscillation of particle in the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave velocity or direction of travel of the energy.

Mechanical transverse waves can occur only in solids, whereas mechanical longitudinal waves can travel in solids, fluids, and gases.

2. Electromagnetic waves, from radio waves to visible light to gamma rays, are a self-sustaining oscillation of the electromagnetic field, that are generated by oscillating electric charges. Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves because the electric field and magnetic field are oscillating in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the wave. See below.

Electromagnetic waves require no material medium and can travel through a vacuum.

Hope it helps.
Tyvm
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Thread starter 2 years ago
#20
Thanks to all who replied
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