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:

Quick Answers:

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.

Worked Answers: