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ZingPath: Wave Types

Electromagnetic and Mechanical Waves

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Wave Types

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Lesson Focus

Electromagnetic and Mechanical Waves


Learning Made Easy

You will be able to take a look at the different types of waves, including transverse and longitudinal waves, and learn the difference between electromagnetic and mechanical waves.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Classify waves as mechanical waves or electromagnetic waves.
  • Describe mechanical waves as waves that require a substance medium for transmission.
  • Describe electromagnetic waves as waves that do not require a substance medium for transmission.
  • Give examples of mechanical waves.
  • Give examples of electromagnetic waves.

Everything You'll Have Covered

How do waves carry energy through matter and space?

~ Waves carry energy through matter and space through vibration and oscillation.

How are waves classified as either electromagnetic or mechanical?

~ Waves are classified based on the medium in which they are transmitted. Electromagnetic waves are transmitted without a substance medium, but mechanical waves require a medium such as air or water to be transmitted.

What are some examples of electromagnetic waves?

~ Light waves, radio waves, and mobile phone signals are examples of electromagnetic waves.

What are some examples of mechanical waves?

~ Water waves, seismic waves, and waves on springs or ropes are examples of mechanical waves.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define electromagnetic waves, mechanical waves, and medium.
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary electromagnetic waves, mechanical waves, medium