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Mechanical / progressive / transverse / longitudinal waves

  1. Jun 22, 2015 #1
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but based on what I've learnt, there are three kinds of waves: mechanical, transverse progressive and longitudinal progressive.

    Mechanical - A disturbance makes particles vibrate on the spot
    Transverse progressive - Energy is carried, and moves perpendicular to the direction of travel
    Longitudinal progressive - Energy is carried, and moves parallel to the direction of travel

    Where do sound waves fall under in this system? Different sources say mechanical or longitudinal.
    Also, what about ocean waves, or moving a rope up and down?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2015 #2


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    that and

    that .... are pretty much the same thing

    is a very poor description as nothing will vibrate on the spot ONLY ... there will always be a wave that will radiate out from that spot

    They are both compressional waves that radiate out from the source. They both describe sound waves and seismic P waves

    Seismic S waves are an example of traverse waves. They are a shear wave and an important feature of traverse (shear) waves is that they wont travel through a liquid
    This is because a liquid has no shear strength

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