Worksheet: Comparing Transverse and Longitudinal Waves

In this worksheet, we will practice identifying the differences and similarities between transverse and longitudinal waves in terms of amplitude, wavelength, and period.

Q1:

A transverse wave consists of individual particles that might possibly move in the directions 𝐴, 𝐡, 𝐢, and 𝐷 shown in the diagram. Which of the following directions can the yellow particle move in as the wave travels to the right?

  • ADirection 𝐡
  • BDirection 𝐴 and Direction 𝐢
  • CDirection 𝐴 and Direction 𝐡
  • DDirection 𝐴, Direction 𝐡, and Direction 𝐢
  • EDirection 𝐡 and Direction 𝐷

Q2:

A transverse wave is shown in the diagram. What is the amplitude of the wave?

Q3:

A transverse wave is shown in the diagram. What is the period of the wave?

Q4:

A transverse wave is shown in the diagram. What is the wavelength of the wave?

Q5:

A longitudinal wave consists of individual particles that might possibly move in the directions 𝐴, 𝐡, 𝐢, and 𝐷 shown in the diagram. Which of the following directions can the yellow particle shown in the diagram move in as the wave travels to the right?

  • ADirection 𝐴 and Direction 𝐡
  • BDirection 𝐡
  • CDirection 𝐡 and Direction 𝐷
  • DDirection 𝐷
  • EDirection 𝐴 and Direction 𝐢

Q6:

The diagram shows a transverse wave and highlights the wave’s wave fronts. The wave fronts shown without the wave can represent the wave. How many wavelengths of the wave separate each wave front from its nearest neighboring wave front?

  • A5
  • B9
  • C2
  • D1

Q7:

A transverse wave is shown in the diagram. What is the amplitude of the wave?

Q8:

The diagram shows a longitudinal wave traveling along a spring and four displacement-time graphs. If positive displacement corresponds to compression of the spring, which of the graphs correctly shows the change in displacement with time of the wave on the spring?

  • AD
  • BC
  • CA
  • DB

Q9:

Which of the following correctly describes what is meant by a medium of wave travel?

  • AA medium of wave travel is the midpoint of a traveling wave.
  • BA medium of wave travel is a substance that a wave travels through.
  • CA medium of wave travel is the average amplitude of a traveling wave.
  • DA medium of wave travel is the position of a traveling wave when it is at the midpoint between its origin and its destination.
  • EA medium of wave travel is the average speed that a wave travels at.

Q10:

Along the surface of a body of water are many approximately equally horizontally spaced water particles, none of which have net motion. When waves travel across the water, each of the particles at the surface moves along a circular path, as shown in the diagram. Which of the following statements most correctly applies to the type of wave motion of the water particles?

  • AThe wave motion of the particles combines transverse and longitudinal motion.
  • BThe wave motion of the particles involves neither transverse nor longitudinal motion.
  • CThe wave motion of the particles is entirely longitudinal.
  • DThe wave motion of the particles is entirely transverse.

Q11:

The paths traveled by three waves are shown in the diagram. The waves travel in different regions, A and B. Two of the waves travel in region A and one of the waves travels in region B. Regions A and B contain media that have different properties. Wave II is reflected at the boundary between the regions and wave III is refracted at the boundary between the regions.

All the waves have the same type of wave motion. Which of the following types of wave motion could wave II have?

  • AEither transverse or longitudinal
  • BLongitudinal only
  • CTransverse only

All the waves have the same type of wave motion. Which of the following types of wave motion could wave III have?

  • ATransverse only
  • BEither transverse or longitudinal
  • CLongitudinal only

Q12:

In the diagram, a wave traveling along the spring is shown. Parts of the spring are displaced from the horizontal line between points 𝐴 and 𝐡. The parts of the spring shown within the red lines are compressed, and the parts of the spring shown within the blue lines are extended.

Which of the following types of wave motion corresponds to the displacement of the spring’s sections perpendicularly to 𝐴𝐡?

  • ANeither transverse nor longitudinal
  • BBoth transverse and longitudinal
  • CLongitudinal
  • DTransverse

Which of the following types of wave motion corresponds to the compression of the spring sections?

  • ABoth transverse and longitudinal
  • BNeither transverse nor longitudinal
  • CLongitudinal
  • DTransverse

Which of the following types of wave motion corresponds to the extension of the spring’s sections?

  • ABoth transverse and longitudinal
  • BLongitudinal
  • CNeither transverse nor longitudinal
  • DTransverse

Q13:

A rectangular-prism-shaped tile is oscillated vertically along the axis shown in the diagram. The tile moves in a medium that cannot support transverse waves. Along which wave direction axis will waves travel away from the tile surface?

  • AAll the wave direction axes
  • BWave direction axis I
  • CWave direction axis II
  • DWave direction axis III

Q14:

The paths traveled by three waves are shown in the diagram. The waves travel in two different regions, A and B. Two of the waves travel in region A and one of the waves travels in region B. Regions A and B contain media that have different properties.

Which of the waves is reflected at the boundary between the regions?

  • AWave III
  • BNone of the waves
  • CWave II
  • DWave I

Which of the waves is refracted at the boundary between the regions?

  • ANone of the waves
  • BWave II
  • CWave III
  • DWave I

Q15:

The diagram shows a longitudinal wave traveling along a spring. Which of the arrows shown in the diagram is the same length as one wavelength of the longitudinal wave?

  • A 𝑖
  • B 𝑣
  • C 𝑖 𝑖
  • D 𝑖 𝑣
  • E 𝑖 𝑖 𝑖

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