Mechanical Wave Model – Practice
1) What is the key characteristic of any mechanical wave?
2) Outline the motion of particles as a wave propagates through a medium:
3) Describe an example of a mechanical wave and how it demonstrates a transfer of energy:
4) Explain why mechanical waves travel through denser mediums faster:
1) Any mechanical wave will require a medium for it to travel through (water, air, steel)
2) The particles that make up a medium are not transported by the wave themselves. The particles oscillate (vibrate back and forth) from their normal position. This oscillation passes on energy to neighbouring particles.
3) A water wave in the ocean can cause erosion of a sandbank. Earthquake waves can cause destruction of buildings and other structures.
4) The energy that travels with a wave is passed on by the oscillation of particles. The particles in denser mediums are closer together and this enables the energy to be passed on to neighbouring particles faster.