Why do waves break

Why do waves break

The Wave

Energy is transferred from one place to another by waves. There are many types of waves, such as water waves, sound waves, light waves and radio waves. The waves can be mainly divided into two parts-

Mechanical waves
Inertial waves or electromagnetic waves
Mechanical waves

If a piece of stone is thrown in a calm river or pond water, a disturbance arises at the place where the stone falls. Without any disturbance, it starts moving outward and reaches the shore. Thus the disturbance arising in a medium is called mechanical wave.

Types of mechanical waves – Mechanical waves are mainly of two types – (1) transverse waves (2) longitudinal waves.

Transverse waves

When the particles of the medium vibrate perpendicular to the direction of the wave when a mechanical wave is transmitted through some medium, the wave is called a transverse wave. These waves can only be generated in a solid and can be generated on the surface of a liquid. Transverse waves are transmitted in the form of horns and troughs.

Longitudinal waves: When mechanical waves move through a medium in such a way that the particles of the medium vibrate parallel to the direction of transmission of the wave, such waves are called longitudinal waves. Longitudinal waves can be generated in all mediums, waves generated in air are longitudinal waves. Earthquake waves, waves generated in spring, are also longitudinal waves.

Rapid waves: The high pressure waves produced when an object is moving at high speed in a gas or liquid material is called slow waves. Pulsive waves arise when an object exceeds the velocity of sound in a gas or liquid. They are also called pressure waves. These waves are very high energy. Thunderstorms are produced by thunder clouds, volcanic eruptions and lightning strikes. These waves are very deadly. Every year, hundreds of people die and property worth crores rupees.

During the flight of a supersonic aircraft, even strong waves are produced. You must have heard a loud sound when these planes came out in the light. This is called sonic boom. Sonic Boom breaks the glass windows of houses.

Explosions are also caused by explosions, many kilometers from these waves. Distant buildings can also be damaged. These waves can be experienced even if the gunfire is very high. When the speed of a motorboat is very high in water, the effect of strong waves is seen on the surface of the water.


The earthquake produces terrible thunderstorms. Thousands of people may die due to the intense waves generated during the explosion of atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs.

Ultrasonic waves

Ultrasound or ultrasonic waves, also known as ultrasound, were first generated by Galton. Their frequency exceeds 20,000 Hz. Initially these were known as Galton Ct. Nowadays ultrasonic waves of different frequencies oscillate to a quartz crystal. The wavelength of ultrasonic waves in air is 1.6 cm. Is less than.

These waves have shorter wavelength and higher frequency, so the energy contained in them is also higher. These waves have the ability to perform tasks that cannot be done with ordinary sound waves.

They are used to measure the depth of the ocean and locate icebergs, reefs, giant fish and submarines hidden in sea water. For this purpose, signals of ultrasonic waves are sent and the distance of these objects is determined by accepting the changed waves from these objects and measuring the time of arrival and departure of the waves. Defects present in thick sheets of metals are also detected by these waves.

Ultrasonic waves help in removing airborne dust and small particles of coal, etc. By clearing the haze at airports on a hazy day, ships are able to take off safely.

The parts of complex machines and the internal parts of the aircraft are also cleaned by these waves. They are also used in killing small insects etc.

Nowadays ultrasonic waves are being used in medical science for the treatment and diagnosis of disease by the name of ultrasound. They are being used extensively in the operation without shedding blood, determining the position of tumors, extracting teeth etc. Ultrasound is also used to see objects that we cannot normally see. The baby is examined in the womb by a scanner at the hospital. The child’s position appears on the screen. These waves do not have fatal effects on the body, like X rays. Abdominal disorders are also detected by ultrasonic waves.

Ultrasonic waves also clean valuable optical components. By using these waves, piercing machines are also being built nowadays. Thus ultrasonic waves have proved to be of great use to us.


The distance a wave travels when a particle of the medium is completely vibrated is called the longitudinal. Let us display this with λ (lambda).

Frequency: The number of vibrations a particle vibrates in a second is called frequency and it is represented by f.

In all types of waves, there is the following relation between wave velocity, wavelength and frequency –

Wavelength = frequency × wavelength

Periodic Period: The time it takes a particle to vibrate through the medium to complete a vibration is called the periodic period, displaying it with T.

Amplitude: When longitudinal or transverse waves are transmitted in a medium, all the particles of the medium start vibrating.

The more a particle of the medium is displaced on both sides of its equilibrium, the distance is called amplitude, displaying the dimension with ‘d’.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The spectrum of light appears from red to violet in sunlight. This spectrum is called the visible spectrum. The longest wavelength value in the red color of the visible spectrum is about 7.8 × 10–7 m and the value of the shortest wavelength in violet is about 4.0 × 10–7 m. Scientists have discovered that the spectrum of sunlight is not limited only to the color red to purple, but also extends over red color and below purple. These parts of the spectrum have no effect on the retina of the eyes. Hence, they are called invisible spectrum. The part with larger wavelength above red color is called infrared spectrum, and the part with shorter wavelength below purple color is called ultraviolet spectrum. All are radiation (electromagnetic waves including visible spectrum).

Electromagnetic waves

Mechanical waves require a medium for transmission, but apart from mechanical waves, there are some waves which do not require any medium for transmission and those waves can also transmit in vacuum. These are called electromagnetic waves.

These waves are transverse waves arising from oscillations of magnetic and electric fields. Lighthouse waves are examples of waves. All electromagnetic waves move at the same speed and their speed is equal to the speed of light, three lakh kilometers per second.

The wavelength range of these waves is very wide. Their premises range from 10-14 meters to 104 meters. Some of the major electromagnetic waves are-

Gamma rays: The rays are electromagnetic waves of very short wavelength. Their wavelength range is from 1014 m to 10–10 m. Due to the wavelength being too short, these rays have a lot of energy, which causes them to pass through the iron sheets.

X-rays: X-rays were discovered by Röntgen. Their longitudinal lengths range from 10–9 m to 10–8 m. These rays are used a lot in the medical and industrial sectors.

Ultraviolet waves: Ultraviolet radiation was discovered by Ritter. The wavelengths of these waves range from 10–8 m to 10–7 m. These waves are produced by sunlight, electrical immersion, vacuum, spark etc.

Visual Radiation: We can see visible radiation with our eyes. It was discovered by Newton. The wavelength range of visible radiation ranges from 4 × 10–7 m to 7.8 × 10–7 m. In visible radiation, reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, polarization, visual sensing etc. are found.

These radiations originate from heat radiance objects. Sources from radiation are sun, stars, flame, electric bulb, arc lamp etc.

Infrared rays: These rays were discovered in 1940 by William Herschel. Their wavelength ranges from 7.8 × 10–7 m to 10–3 m. Those waves are released when the material is heated to high temperature.

Due to the high penetration power of these rays, they are overcome by dense fog and haze. These rays are used to send signals far and wide in wartime. They are also used to foment patients in hospitals and do photography in fog.

Hartz or Small Radio Waves – These waves were discovered in 1888 by William Hartz. The wavelength range of these waves ranges from 10–3 to 1 m. Waves of wavelengths 10–3 m to 10–2 m in this compound are called micro waves. They are used in the broadcast of television, telephone etc.


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