Q:

What is a medium of a wave?

A:

Quick Answer

The medium of a wave is any substance that carries the wave, or through which the wave travels. Ocean waves are carried by water, sound waves are carried by air, and the seismic waves of an earthquake are carried by rock and soil.

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Full Answer

A wave is a disturbance travelling through matter or space, transferring energy from one place to another. Mechanical waves, such a sound waves and water waves, carry energy through a medium, but the molecules of medium itself are generally not permanently displaced. Electromagnetic radiation, which includes light and radio waves, sometimes behaves as waves and sometimes as particles called photons. Electromagnetic waves can travel without a medium.

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  • Q:

    What is a periodic wave?

    A:

    A periodic wave is a series of regular timed disturbances in a medium. The mediums that carry such waves varies, but for periodic sound waves, air is a common medium.

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  • Q:

    What type of wave does not require a medium?

    A:

    Electromagnetic waves do not require a medium to be transmitted. These waves, which freely travel through different types of materials, are produced due to the combined effects of a magnetic field and an electric field.

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    What does the speed of a sound wave depend on?

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    The speed of a sound wave depends on what type of medium it is traveling through, and if that medium is a gas or liquid, a significant change in temperature can also affect its speed. In air, the speed at which sound travels is about 1 mile every 5 seconds at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but the speed of a sound wave traveling through solid rock is about 18 miles every 5 seconds. Sound travels faster through a solid substance like rock because, unlike liquids or gases, the molecules in a solid are held close together.

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  • Q:

    What is wave interference?

    A:

    Wave interference describes the effects of the meeting of two waves that are travelling on the same plane or medium. The meeting of the waves causes the medium they are travelling in to change into a shape that reflects the net effect of both waves.

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