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Wave

A wave is a vibratory disturbance in a medium which carries energy from one point to another point without any actual movement of the medium. There are three types of waves

  1. Mechanical Waves Those waves which require a material medium for their propagation, are called mechanical waves, e.g., sound waves, water waves etc.
  2. Electromagnetic Waves Those waves which do not require a material medium for their propagation, are called electromagnetic waves, e.g., light waves, radio waves etc.
  3. Matter Waves These waves are commonly used in modern technology but they are unfamiliar to us. Thses waves are associated with electrons, protons and other fundamental particles.

Nature of Waves

(i) Transverse waves A wave in which the particles of the medium vibrate at right angles to the direction of propagation of wave, is called a transverse wave.

Wave - Class 11

These waves travel in the form of crests and troughs.

(ii) Longitudinal waves A wave in which the particles of the medium vibrate in the same direction in which wave is propagating, is called a longitudinal wave.

Wave - Class 11

These waves travel in the form of compressions and rarefactions.

Some Important Terms of Wave Motion

  1. (i) Wavelength The distance between two nearest points in a wave which are in the same phase of vibration is called the wavelength (λ).
  2. (ii) Time Period Time taken to complete one vibration is called time period (T).
  3. (iii) Frequency The number of vibrations completed in one second is called frequency of the wave.
    Wave - Class 11Its SI unit is hertz.
  4. (iv) Velocity of Wave or Wave Velocity The distance travelled by a wave in one second is called velocity of the wave (u).
    Relation among velocity, frequency and wavelength of a wave is given by v = fλ.
  5. (v) Particle Velocity The velocity of the particles executing SHM is called particle velocity.
    Wave - Class 11
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FAQs on Wave - Class 11

1. What is a wave?
Ans. A wave is a disturbance that travels through a medium, transferring energy from one point to another without any actual movement of matter. It can be described as a pattern of oscillation or vibration.
2. What are the different types of waves?
Ans. There are two main types of waves: mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves. Mechanical waves require a medium to travel through, such as sound waves or water waves. Electromagnetic waves, on the other hand, can travel through a vacuum, such as light waves or radio waves.
3. How is the speed of a wave determined?
Ans. The speed of a wave is determined by the frequency and wavelength of the wave. The formula to calculate the speed of a wave is v = λf, where v is the speed, λ (lambda) is the wavelength, and f is the frequency. As frequency or wavelength increases, the speed of the wave also increases.
4. What is the difference between amplitude and frequency?
Ans. Amplitude and frequency are two important properties of a wave. Amplitude refers to the maximum displacement of a particle in a wave from its rest position. It determines the intensity or strength of the wave. Frequency, on the other hand, refers to the number of complete cycles or vibrations of a wave that occur in one second. It is measured in hertz (Hz).
5. How do waves interact with different mediums?
Ans. Waves can interact with different mediums in various ways. When a wave encounters a new medium, it can be reflected, transmitted, or absorbed. Reflection occurs when a wave bounces back after encountering a boundary. Transmission happens when a wave passes through a medium and continues to travel. Absorption occurs when a wave is absorbed by the medium and its energy is converted into other forms, such as heat. The behavior of a wave when it interacts with a medium depends on factors such as the nature of the medium and the properties of the wave itself.
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