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A test or experiment to show whether a wave is Longitudinal or transverse (As. level)

  1. Sep 10, 2011 #1
    I have looked everywhere to find a simple, easy test to find whether a wave is longitudinal or transverse, Ive read my text book and I think it may be to do with polarisation but im not quite sure how, or someone said that passing the wave through a vacuum would determine the type of wave. any ideas of how to test it in a school lab situation?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2011 #2
    Re: A test or experiment to show whether a wave is Longitudinal or transverse (As. le

    What kind of waves do you want to study?
     
  4. Sep 10, 2011 #3
    Re: A test or experiment to show whether a wave is Longitudinal or transverse (As. le

    well i need to find a way of distinguishing between the two, so if you were given a wave, not knowing what wave it was and then you had to find if it was longitudinal or transverse. its not for 1 particular wave. does that help? :/
     
  5. Sep 10, 2011 #4
    Re: A test or experiment to show whether a wave is Longitudinal or transverse (As. le

    Have you tried reading about it online?
    These sources might help:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transverse_wave" [Broken]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longitudinal_wave" [Broken]
    As well as the basic understanding that the definition of a propagation of a wave transversely, or otherwise, depends on the direction of motion, accordingly, with the respective element of the phenomenon...
    In other words, this is best illustrated by an Electromagnetic wave(such as light), that has a component E travelling, say, logitudinaly, and a B component travelling transversely, or the other way around... The point is, E propagates with the actual motion of the wave(given the polarization factor(typically denoted as k)), and B is perpendicular to that...

    As for experiments to determine the polarization, that's very effectively done with a few semiconducting light-filters(essentially plastics), and an incoherent source of light; By adjusting the filters, you can sift through the possible states of polarization of the light created, and obtain either complete translucency or opaqueness based on the adjustment thereof...
    I hope I was instrumental somewhat,
    Pardon the rambling,
    Daniel
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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