Compare, distinguish and explain what is the difference between Transverse and Longitudinal Waves. Comparison and Differences.
All waves don’t have the same effect on a medium. The energy in heat waves and sound waves produces two different types of waves, called transverse waves and longitudinal waves. You can identify the type of wave passing through a medium by the way the medium is disturbed.
Transverse Wave: Transverse waves are waves where the direction of vibrations is at 90° to the direction in which the wave travels. A wave whose particles oscillate perpendicular to the direction that the wave travels. The wave is moving left to right, while the disturbance moves up and down. The disturbance moves perpendicular to the direction of the wave. Transverse waves create light.
Longitudinal Wave: Longitudinal waves are waves where the vibrations of the particles are along the direction in which the wave travels. A wave whose particles oscillate in the same direction as the wave travels.
Difference between Transverse and Longitudinal Waves
1. In the transverse wave, particles in the medium vibrate in directions perpendicular to the directions of travel of the wave. In the longitudinal wave, particles in the medium vibrate in directions parallel to the directions of travel of the wave. The amplitude of a transverse wave is the vertical distance between the line of origin and each crest or trough.
2. Crest and trough are formed in the medium in the transverse wave. Compression and rarefaction occur in the medium in the longitudinal wave.
3. Transverse waves produce light. Longitudinal waves produce sound. Check: Sound Wave vs. Light Wave
4. Example of Transverse Wave: Water waves. Example of Longitudinal Wave: Sound waves, ultrasound waves.
5. When a transverse wave passes through a medium, it looks like a moving snake. When a longitudinal wave passes through a medium, it looks more like a traveling earthworm.
6. On a transverse wave, wavelength is the distance between two consecutive crests, or two consecutive troughs.
The wavelength of a longitudinal wave is the distance between two consecutive compressions, or two consecutive rarefactions.