Difference Between Longitudinal and Transverse Wave: Real-Life Examples

The difference between longitudinal and transverse waves is an aspect of the study of waves. The major difference between the two of them is regarding the displacement of particles. Longitudinal waves are waves where the displacement of particles happens parallel to the direction of the waves moving. Transverse waves are waves where the particles present move perpendicular to the direction of the waves.

What are Longitudinal Waves?

Longitudinal waves can be defined as the movement of particles in the direction of the waves travelling. It can happen in any form, solid, liquid or gas. This means that any particles present in the medium move parallel to the wave’s direction.

• Compression and rarefactions are the two parts of these waves
• The to-and-fro movement of the particles in the medium results in the vibration of other particles
• The best example of longitudinal waves are sound waves

What are Transverse Waves?

Transverse waves are the waves that move in the perpendicular direction of the waves. For the purpose of transmitting their energy, transverse waves need a relatively rigid medium.

• Crests and troughs are the two parts of this wave
• Top and bottom movements of the particles in the medium results in the horizontal expansion of wave
• Soild and liquid are the 2 mediums in which it can be obtained
• Best example of transverse waves are water waves

Difference Between Longitudinal and Transverse waves

Below table captures all the major difference between longitudinal and transverse waves:

Real Life examples of Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

Longitudinal Waves- One well-known example of a longitudinal wave is sound. A sound wave travels through a medium, like air or water, and causes several compressions and rarefactions along the way. The perception of sound is the result of these compressions and rarefactions, which force the medium’s particles to travel in the same direction as the sound wave.

Transverse Waves- A stone tossed into a pond causes ripples to appear and extend outward. The water particles in these ripples move up and down as the wave travels through, exhibiting transverse wave behaviour. The transverse motion of particles is also exhibited by the wave that results from flicking a rope or a string.

FAQs

How does the sound wave production happen?

Factors like particle velocity, particle displacement, and vibration in pressure help in the production of sound waves.

What is the major difference between longitudinal and transverse waves?

The displacement of particles is the major difference between the two of them.

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