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Chapter summary

Presentation: VPguj

  • A wave is formed when a continuous number of pulses are transmitted through a medium.

  • A crest is the highest point a particle in the medium rises to.

  • A trough is the lowest point a particle in the medium sinks to.

  • In a transverse wave, the particles move perpendicular to the motion of the wave.

  • The amplitude (\(A\)) is the maximum distance from equilibrium position to a crest (or trough), or the maximum displacement of a particle in a wave from its position of rest.

  • The wavelength (\(λ\)) is the distance between any two adjacent points on a wave that are in phase. It is measured in metres (\(\text{m}\)).

  • The period (\(T\)) of a wave is the time it takes a wavelength to pass a fixed point. It is measured in seconds (\(\text{s}\)).

  • The frequency (\(f\)) of a wave is how many waves pass a point in a second. It is measured in hertz (\(\text{Hz}\)) or \(\text{s$^{-1}$}\).

  • Frequency: \(f = \frac{1}{T}\)

  • Period: \(T = \frac{1}{f}\)

  • Speed: \(v = f·λ\) or \(v = \frac{λ}{T}\).

Physical Quantities
QuantityUnit nameUnit symbol
Amplitude (\(A\))metre\(\text{m}\)
Wavelength (\(λ\))metre\(\text{m}\)
Period (\(T\))second\(\text{s}\)
Frequency (\(f\))hertzHz (\(\text{s$^{-1}$}\))
Wave speed (\(v\))metre per second\(\text{m·s$^{-1}$}\)

Table 8.1: Units used in transverse waves