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waves

Wave Types
Image: istockphoto/Yuri

Wave Types

How do waves behave? Investigate one kind of wave that resembles sports fans doing…you guessed it…“the wave.”

Then explore waves colliding, 10-story-high ocean waves, seemingly motionless musical waves, and the search for gravity waves that may tell us about the first second of existence.

University of Salford
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Two Types of Waves: Longitudinal vs. Transverse

Two Types of Waves: Longitudinal vs. Transverse

With a few drawings and graphs, Doc Schuster makes the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves as clear as it can be. More...

Video
Doc Schuster
Introduction to LIGO and Gravitational Waves

Introduction to LIGO and Gravitational Waves

Do gravity waves exist? Einstein thought so. Scientists have built huge machines to detect them. Success could mean getting a look at the Big Bang, itself. More...

Article
LIGO Scientific Collaboration
The Wave Machine

The Wave Machine

Build your own ocean wave here. Then follow the links. Find out about tsunamis, as well as "freak waves" higher than a 10-story building. More...

Interactive
PBS
Blast Wave

Blast Wave

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, small red angry faces invaded the home of the small green smiley faces. Use wave motion to blast the little red angry faces back to their own world. More...

Game
Kiba Games
Fourier: Making Waves

Fourier: Making Waves

Ready for a challenge? Build all sorts of waves by adding up sines and cosines. Change amplitudes, periods, and wavelengths. Listen to your waves or see them expressed mathematically. More...

Interactive
PhET
Kinetic Wave Sculptures

Kinetic Wave Sculptures

Science meets art in Reuben Margolin's sculptures inspired by wave types in nature. Take a look at the mechanics of his installations — including one that resembles water ripples! More...

Video
Maker Media
Longitudinal and Transverse Wave Motion

Longitudinal and Transverse Wave Motion

Mechanical waves need a solid, a liquid, or a gas — in other words, a medium — through which to travel. See what happens to a particle in a medium when different kinds of mechanical waves pass by. More...

Article
Penn State
Measuring the Speed of ‘Light’ with a Microwave Oven

Measuring the Speed of ‘Light’ with a Microwave Oven

With little more than an egg, a ruler, and a microwave oven, you can measure the speed of light. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Reflection, Refraction, and Diffraction

Reflection, Refraction, and Diffraction

Find out here what happens when waves run into barriers, gaps, or different mediums. Then click on the next sections to find out what happens when waves interfere with one another. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
The Invasion of Invisible Waves

The Invasion of Invisible Waves

This site begins with some excellent wave quizzes. This interactive exploration of waves will let you manipulate waves to learn more about them. Or, use it to test your understanding of the physics of wave motion. More...

Interactive
Catie for Schools
The Nature of a Wave

The Nature of a Wave

How do we know the core of the Earth is a liquid? From the type of waves that pass through it. Discover the key differences between waves with this tutorial. More...

Interactive
The Physics Classroom
Traveling Waves vs. Standing Waves

Traveling Waves vs. Standing Waves

Take an in-depth look at how standing waves and traveling waves produce different patterns. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
Wave Interference: Wave Pulse

Wave Interference: Wave Pulse

Think you know what happens when waves interfere with one another? Watch this video anyway. Chances are, you've never seen a teacher like Jonathan Osbourne. More...

Video
Brightsource
Waves on a String

Waves on a String

Though moving, some waves appear not to be. These “standing waves” produce the musical tones we love to hear. More...

Article
University of Salford
Waves: Quiz

Waves: Quiz

Ace this quiz and you can have confidence in your knowledge of waves and their properties. More...

Interactive
McGraw-Hill
What Are Waves?

What Are Waves?

"Waves are vibrations that transfer energy from place to place without matter (solid, liquid or gas) being transferred," says this helpful British study guide. More...

Article
BBC

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