Types of Waves: Mechanical Vs Electromagnetic Waves

via ScienceTm
In previous lessens we looked at what is a wave. If you’re unclear on this topic click here to read more about waves.
In physics there are two known types of waves, these are:
  1. Mechanical Wave
  2. Electromagnetic wave

The differences between these two lie in their means of transferring energy. One may not see the difference between sound waves and light rays because as humans we aren’t capable of seeing such things with our naked eyes but thanks to human intelligence and through many research scientists were able to detect movement of energy in waves and thus differentiate the means by which they are transferred.

What are Mechanical Waves?
Mechanical waves are those that need a material medium with particles to enable them to move. Therefore these waves can’t “travel on their own”.

Examples of mechanical waves:

  • Sound Waves
  • Water Waves
  • Waves in springs

What is Electromagnetic wave?
Electromagnetic waves are those that do not need any material medium to enable them to move. Therefore these waves can travel on their own. These waves can travel through a vacuum.

Examples of electromagnetic waves:

  • Visible light
  • X-rays
  • Infrared rays
  • Ultraviolet rays
  • Radio waves

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5 Response to Types of Waves: Mechanical Vs Electromagnetic Waves

July 22, 2011 at 5:15 AM

You've got an easy and didactic way of explaining even difficult things.

March 21, 2012 at 3:22 PM

you helped me with a very important project and not many other sites I went to could explain it quite like you.

April 7, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Can I use your picture of the wave in a logo of a client? Anna Vehof

July 31, 2015 at 6:08 AM

Radiowaves, light and radio - are the same forms of energy but they have different wavelength: from kilometres (long radio waves) to 10-16 metres (gamma rays)

March 23, 2016 at 1:17 AM

Useful information like this one must be kept and maintained.

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