We think you are located in South Africa. Is this correct?

Compression And Rarefaction

Do you need more Practice?

Siyavula Practice gives you access to unlimited questions with answers that help you learn. Practise anywhere, anytime, and on any device!

Sign up to practise now

9.2 Compression and rarefaction (ESACT)

However instead of crests and troughs, longitudinal waves have compressions and rarefactions.

Compression

A compression is a region in a longitudinal wave where the particles are closest together.

Rarefaction

A rarefaction is a region in a longitudinal wave where the particles are furthest apart.

As seen in Figure 9.2, there are regions where the medium is compressed and other regions where the medium is spread out in a longitudinal wave.

The region where the medium is compressed is known as a compression and the region where the medium is spread out is known as a rarefaction.

386ec3b51174e539ce44873f19f6f2cc.png

Figure 9.2: Compressions and rarefactions on a longitudinal wave