Sound Waves: Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

Demonstrate the two types of waves: longitudinal (or compression) and transverse using springs and ropes. Toy springs can show both types but ropes and string can only show one; can you think which one? Track the movement of the wave energy and compare this to the movement of the medium.

 

Questions Answered:

  • What are the differences between transverse and compression waves?
  • What type of waves are sound waves?
  • How does wave moment and particle movement (within the wave) differ?

 

Topics & Concepts Addressed:

  • Compression and transverse waves move through media differently.
  • Toy springs can show both types of waves, but ropes and string can only show transverse waves.
  • Wave energy moves along a wave while the particles of the media move back and forth.

 

Materials Needed

Toy spring, rope, timer, metric tape measure or meter stick

 

Preparation Time

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Sound Waves: Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

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