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Question 2: What is the difference between longitudinal and transverse waves?


Differences in transverse and longitudinal waves are as follow;

S No Transverse Waves Longitudinal Waves
1 In case of transverse waves, the particles of the medium vibrate about their mean positions perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the wave. In case of longitudinal waves, the particles of the medium vibrate parallel to the direction of the motion of the wave.
2 In transverse waves there are crests and troughs coming one after the other. In longitudinal waves there are compression and rarefaction coming one after the other.
3 The distance between the two consecutive crests or troughs is called wavelength. The distance between two consecutive compressions or rarefactions is called a wavelength.
4 In case of crest in a transverse wave, the particles move up and in case of trough they move down the mean position. In case of compression in a longitudinal wave, the particles of the medium come closer to one another and in case of rarefaction they move away from one another.
5 Transverse waves can move in solids and liquids only. Electromagnetic transverse waves also can travel through space. Longitudinal waves can propagate in solids, liquids as well as in gases.
6 Transverse waves can be polarized. Longitudinal waves cannot be polarized.
7 Pressure in the transverse waves remains constant everywhere. Pressure is maximum in the compression region and minimum in the rarefaction in longitudinal waves.
8 Transverse waves may be electromagnetic in nature as well. Longitudinal waves are only mechanical.


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