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Transverse waves can propagate through a solid

  1. May 29, 2009 #1
    Hey my friends please solve my problem
    Both longitudinal and transverse waves can propagate through a solid. A wave on the surface of a liquid can involve both longitudinal and transverse motion of elements of the medium. On the other hand, a wave propagating through the volume of a fluid must be purely longitudinal, not transverse. Why?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 29, 2009 #2
    Re: Physics

    Consider differences in structure between liquids and solids.
  4. May 29, 2009 #3
    Re: Physics

    Consider also that wave motion can be thought of as many coupled harmonic oscillators, that is, like lots of springs .... which restore each point to an equilibrium position. What are the restoring forces in each case you asked about?
  5. May 31, 2009 #4
    Re: Physics

    volume of fluid has only bulk modulus of elasticity not the modulus of rigidity,so the londitudinal waves can travel ,(transverse wave cannot propapagate without modulus of rigidity.)
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
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