Sound Waves as Longitudinal Waves

• A wave in which the particles of the medium vibrate back and forth in the same direction in which

the wave is moving, is called a longitudinal wave.

→ When we push and pull the slinky compression (number of turns are more or closer) and

rarefaction (number of turns are less or farther) are formed.

→ When a wave travels along with slinky, its each turn moves back and forth by only a small

distance in the direction of wave. So the wave is longitudinal.

→ The direction of vibrations of the particles is parallel to the direction of wave.

• When one end of a slinky is moved up and down rapidly whose other end is fixed, it produces

transverse wave.

→ This wave possess along the slinky in horizontal direction, while turns of slinky (particles) vibrates

up and down at right angle to the direction of wave.

→ Thus in transverse wave particles of the medium vibrate up and down at right angles to the

direction of wave.

→ Light waves are transverse waves but they don’t need a material