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Q & A: Wave speed and period

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Most recent answer: 03/20/2011
what is the difference between wave speed and the period?
- Sarah (age 14)

Hi Sarah,

The wave speed is how fast the wave travels. For example, you look at a wave crest on a slinky, the speed at which it moves is simply the wave speed.

The period is the time taken for a particular point on the slinky to complete one cycle of movement. For example, if a point was initially a crest, the time taken for it to move down and then all the way back up again is the period of the wave.

Hope this helps!


(published on 03/20/2011)

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