# Difference Between Transverse vs Longitudinal Waves with Examples

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## Are you getting confused to distinguish between Transverse and Longitudinal waves?

Then we are here to bring you some important difference points between them. In this blog, our college assignment help experts will provide complete guidance on identifying Transverse wave and Longitudinal waves separately.

## What do we mean by a wave?

A wave is defined as the physical motion caused in a medium from one source to destination when an object is brought in contact with it. Let’s take an example when an object is thrown in the pond, it is observed that a pattern of circular motion forms across the point where the object meets the water surface. In this phenomenon, the object moves in the medium that is water, and thus a series of waves form.

When we observe these waves, they are supposed to be traveling from one point of origin to other. Also, they are likely to travel from the center point and move further onwards. Now if a light object like a cork is thrown into the water surface, it is observed that the cork floats up and down. Though the waves are supposed to be traveling in the outside direction the cork stays at its own position. This explains that the waves are not moving at all. These are a kind of disturbance caused by the object on the water surface.

Next, we need to focus on the shape and structure of the waves. It is quite true that all kinds of waves exhibit some basic characteristics and behavior, but some of them can be distinguished on the basis of observable and non-observable properties.

## Longitudinal versus Transverse Waves:

The ground on the basis of which waves are categorized is the direction of movement of the individual particles of the medium with respect to the direction the waves travel. Thus waves are of three types, they are transverse waves, longitudinal waves, and surface waves.

A transverse wave is defined as a wave in which each particle of the medium travel in the direction perpendicular to the direction of motion of the wave. When a furtive or lean is stretched in a horizontal direction across the wall and a pulse is attached into the lean on the other end by vibrating the first coil up and down. Energy will start to propagate through the lean from one end to the other. Since the energy is traveling, the individual coil of the medium will shift up and down. Thus the particles of the medium move in a perpendicular direction to that of the movement of the pulse. This wave movement is known as the Transverse wave. It is always particularized by the motion of the particle traveling perpendicular to the motion of the wave.

Next, learn about the longitudinal wave. It is a wave in which the particles of the medium move in a direction parallel to the direction of motion of the wave. Suppose that a furtive or lean is stretched in a horizontal direction across the wall and that a pulse is attached into the lean on the other end by vibrating the first coil from one end to the other end. In this phenomenon, energy will travel through the lean from one side to the other same as the vibration of the coil. The energy is traveling in the same direction, each coil of the medium will move left to right. Thus the particles of the medium move in a parallel direction with respect to the movement of the pulse. This wave is called a longitudinal wave. Here the motion of particles is parallel to the direction of the wave.

Another example relating to the longitudinal wave will be the use of a tuning fork. When a tuning fork is beat against a hollow pipe, the air inside the pipe, the air is a medium of the wave propagation, travels in a parallel direction.

Thus it can be said that the waves moving through a solid medium can either be longitudinal or transverse. But the wave that is traveling through a fluid medium is a longitudinal wave. And for the transverse wave, a concrete or rigid medium is always required.

## How to identify the types of waves?

Identification of the wave needs a vivid concept on the direction of motion of particles with respect to wave propagation. In a transverse wave, the particles are moved perpendicular to the motion of the wave travels. While for longitudinal waves, the particles are directed parallel to the direction of motion of the wave.