Wave – a disturbance (in the force) that moves energy from place to place.
Medium - Can be ANYTHING a wave will travel through. Some examples are water and air.
Some waves can travel through and require a medium in order to travel. Some other types of waves do not require a medium to travel. The type of wave that requires a medium to travel in is called a Mechanical Wave.
These types of waves move matter back and forth parallel to the direction of the energy.
The leading edge (front) of the wave, compresses the medium and the trailing edge (back) expands the medium.
Notice how the particle is compressed and expanded, but it doesn’t really move from it’s original location.
Drums compress the air and then Expand (or decompress) the air Rapidly. This produces sound. The picture below shows air molecules Being compressed and decompressed By the vibrating “skin” of the drum head.
It may appear as if ocean waves move in from a great distance, however ocean waves just move the water a few feet in a circular motion.
Wind pushes the surface of the water down, creating the initial energy required for the wave.
The wave moves along the surface and deposits the energy as a breaker on the beach.
The surface wave is the only visible portion of the wave. In actually, the circular motion occurs beneath the surface as well and deteriorates as the depth increases. Eventually, the circular motion beneath the surface is slowed and stopped as the wave approaches the beach.
Water waves are an example of waves that involve a combination of both longitudinal and transverse motions. As a wave travels through the waver, the particles travel in clockwise circles . The radius of the circles decreases as the depth into the water increases.