# Sound Waves Key Terms

Flashcard maker : Lesly Lloyd
wave
a disturbance that transfers energy through matter or space
mechanical waves
waves that require a medium to travel
medium
solid, liquid, or gas through which a mechanical wave transfers its energy
electromagnetic waves
DO NOT REQUIRE a medium to travel (they transfer energy through empty space)
vacuum
empty space; the absence of matter — NOT a Hoover 🙂
amplitude
distance from rest position to crest (high point) or rest position to trough (low point)
wavelength
distance from any point on a wave to the identical point on the next wave (crest to crest or trough to trough)
frequency
number of waves that pass a given point in one second
pitch
the highness or lowness of a sound
longitudinal wave
a wave in which the direction of the matter and the direction of the wave move parallel to one another
transverse wave
a wave in which the direction of the matter and the direction of the wave move perpendicular to one another
volume
the feature of sound that is affected by amplitude
pitch
the feature of sound that is affected by frequency
amplitude
the measure of a wave’s energy
solid
the state of matter in which sound travels the fastest
liquid
the state of matter in which sound travels at a medium speed
gas
the state of matter in which sound travels the slowest
Doppler effect
the increase (or decrease) in the frequency of sound waves as the source and observer move toward (or away from) each other
Crest
the highest point of a wave.
Frequency
the number of times per second that a wave cycles.
Mechanical Waves
a wave that must travel through some sort of matter called a medium; cannot travel through a vacuum like outer space.
Medium
the matter that a wave travels through.
Resting position
the position the medium would take if there were no wave.
Sound wave
mechanical waves that are caused by a vibration; can be heard by our ears.
Speed
a measure of how fast the disturbance of the wave is moving; depends on the type of medium that a wave is moving through.
Wave
A disturbance that moves through space and matter; transfer energy from one place to another, but not matter.
Wavelength
the distance between two corresponding points on back-to-back cycles of a wave. For example, between two crests of a wave.
Trough
the lowest part of the wave; The opposite of the crest.
Hertz
unit for frequency
compression
an area of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are close together
rarefaction
an area of a longitudinal wave where the particles of the medium are spread out
wavelength of a longitudinal wave
distance between 2 compressions or 2 rarefactions
frequency of a longitudinal wave
the number of compressions that pass a given point per second
energy
The ability to perform work.
medium
A material (solid, liquid, or gas) through which a wave travels.
sound
Energy traveling away from a vibrating object.
vibrate
To move rapidly back and forth.