Mechanical waves are classified as longitudinal waves and transverse waves. Some instances of longitudinal waves space sound waves, seismic P-waves, and ultrasound waves. Transverse tide examples incorporate electromagnetic waves and also ocean waves. In this article, learn what is a longitudinal wave and its characteristics.

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What Is Longitudinal Wave?

Longitudinal waves space the waves wherein the displacement the the medium is in the same direction together the direction that the take trip of the wave.

The distance in between the centres of two consecutive areas of compression or the rarefaction is defined by wavelength, λ. Once the compression and also rarefaction regions of two waves coincide with each other, the is well-known as constructive interference and also if the regions of compression and rarefaction do not coincide, the is known as destructive interference.


Pressure Waves

The pressure wave is characterized as the propagation that disturbance in a tool as the pressure varies.


A harmonic push wave oscillation will certainly be,



y0 is the amplitude that displacementk is the wavenumberx is the distance along the axis of propagationω is the angular frequencyt is the timeφ is the phase difference

Characteristics of Longitudinal Waves


In a longitudinal wave, compression is a region in i beg your pardon the corpuscle of the wave space closest to each other.


Rarefaction in a longitudinal wave takes place when the particles space farthest apart from every other.


The distance in between two consecutive points in a longitudinal tide is known as wavelength. These consecutive points deserve to be in between two compressions or in between two rarefactions.


Amplitude is the preferably displacement that the fragment from its rest point. In a longitudinal wave, the street from the equilibrium position in the tool to compression or rarefaction is the amplitude.

Period and Frequency

The time take away by the tide to move one wavelength is known as the period.The frequency of the longitudinal wave is the number of wavelengths per second.

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Difference in between Longitudinal and also Transverse Wave

Longitudinal WaveTransverse Wave
A wave that move in the direction that its propagationA wave that moves in the direction perpendicular come its propagation
A sound tide is an example of a longitudinal waveWater waves are an instance of a transverse wave
It is do of refractions and compressionsIt is made of troughs and crests
This wave can be developed in any medium such as gas, liquid or solidThis wave have the right to be produced in solid and liquid’s surface

Read More:Difference between Longitudinal Waves and Transverse Waves

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Frequently Asked concerns – FAQs

The longitudinal wave formula is provided by the equation _____.