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Waves: Basics

Waves are the transfer of energy. They can be longitudinal or transverse, and are described waves in terms of their amplitude, wavelength, frequency, and speed.


Reflection occurs when a wave bounces off a surface without getting absorbed or transmitted. It's what give things colour and what produces reflections in mirrors.


Waves spread out when they move past objects or go through a gap that is of comparable size to their wavelength.


Waves can change in speed, wavelength and direction when passing between media of different densities.

Lenses and Magnification

By refracting visible light with lenses, we can create images of objects that can be magnified or diminished.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

From radio waves to gamma rays, electromagnetic waves form a spectrum ranging in wavelength and frequency.


Sound waves transfer energy by vibrating particles.

Seismic Waves

Studying the seismic waves caused by earthquakes allows us to know the internal structure of the Earth.