Essay by build2grind333High School, 10th gradeA+, March 2005

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Waves, what are they really? Well when I think of waves I think of a wave crashing on the shore at the beach, but that's not the type of wave I'm about to talk about. A wave is a traveling disturbance that carries energy from one place to another. There are so many types. For example there are mechanical and electromagnetic waves. A mechanical wave is a wave that requires a medium. A medium is the material through which a mechanical wave travels. An electromagnetic wave is a wave that consists of electric and magnetic fields and does not require a medium to exist. Waves have several different characteristics which make up the wave. These characteristics consist of amplitude, wavelength, and frequency. When multiplying the wavelength times the frequency you will get the speed of the wave. The speed of the wave depends on the temperature, density and elasticity of the medium through which the sound travels.

Waves encounter many actions. The four basic was interactions are reflection, diffraction, and interference. When a wave reflects or strikes a barrier or comes to the end of the medium it is traveling in, at least part of the wave bounces back. For example when I longitudinal wave hits a wall it bounces back. What happens when a wave refracts? Well, when a wave passes at an angle from one medium to another they bend. It bends because the speed of the wave changes as the wave travels from one medium to another.

When a wave is traveling in a straight line through a medium, if an obstacle encounters it, the wave bends around it somewhat and passes in the region behind it. That is what happens when a wave diffracts. When two or more waves arrive at the same place at...