Mechanical / progressive / transverse / longitudinal waves

  • #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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
davenn
Science Advisor
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Mechanical - A disturbance makes particles vibrate on the spot

that and

Longitudinal progressive - Energy is carried, and moves parallel to the direction of travel

that .... are pretty much the same thing

Mechanical - A disturbance makes particles vibrate on the spot

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

Dave
 

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