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Distinguishing property of Transverse and longitudinal waves

  1. May 26, 2006 #1
    It is said that it is possible to distinguish between transverse and longitudinal waves by studying the property of polarization. Also it is said that longitudinal waves cannot be polarized but transverse waves can be polarized. Are they true?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2006 #2


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    Yes, both of the above statements are true.

  4. May 27, 2006 #3
    Well you can expect this. Longitudinal waves are pairs of simultaneous compressions and rarefactions , which propogate due to the inertia of surroundings , thats why they need environment to propogate and transverse waves are not single-planar , they consist of two field components prependicular to each pther , so polarising them means making the wave vibrate in single plane...so obvious answer becomes transverse waves.
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