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What are the different types of waves?

Basically waves can be three types:

  1. Mechanical waves

  2. Electromagnetic waves

  3. Matter waves


Mechanical waves


Waves which can be produced and propagated only in a material medium are known as mechanical waves.
Water waves, sound waves, waves on string, seismic waves etc. are the example of mechanical waves.
The propagation of mechanical wave depends on the elasticity and inertia of the medium. Thus, these waves are known as elastic waves.

Mechanical waves are two types: Transverse waves and longitudinal waves.

Transverse waves


Waves on the water surface, light waves, wave generated on the string etc are the examples of transverse waves.

Longitudinal wave


Sound wave propagated in air is the example of longitudinal waves.

Electromagnetic waves


Those waves which requires no material medium for their production and propagation, this means it propagates in vacuum. Such waves are called electromagnetic waves.
Visible light, ultraviolet light, radio waves, microwaves, X-rays etc are the examples of electromagnetic waves.

Matter waves


These waves are associated with moving particles of matter like electrons, protons, neutrons, atoms, molecules etc.

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1 centimetre = 10-2 metre
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1 fermi = 10-15 metre
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1 neno second = 10-9 second
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