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Introduction to the Physics of Waves by Tim Freegarde

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10

Longitudinal waves

10.1 Further examples of wave propagation

Our attention so far has focussed largely upon guitar strings, light, water ripples and even Mexican waves, and it would be easy to infer that all wave motions are transverse – that is, the disturbance undergoing the wave motion is a physical displacement in a direction perpendicular to that of the wave propagation. There are indeed many examples of transverse waves but, as already discussed in Section 1.4, other wave motions occur and, from the point of view of wave physics, there is little that is special about transverse motion. In this chapter, we shall therefore address an important class of waves that are apparent in the longitudinal motion of a medium; we shall subsequently ...

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