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Ch 17: Waves for the MCAT: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Waves chapter of this Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Help and Review course is the simplest way to master the properties of waves. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long, plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of waves.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help preparing for the science section of the MCAT exam will benefit from taking this course. You will be able to grasp the subject matter faster, retain critical knowledge longer and earn better grades. You're in the right place if you:

  • Have fallen behind in understanding wave behavior.
  • Need an efficient way to learn about waves.
  • Learn best with engaging auditory and visual tools.
  • Struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD.
  • Experience difficulty understanding your teachers.
  • Missed class time and need to catch up.
  • Can't access extra MCAT science preparation resources at school.

How it works:

  • Start at the beginning, or identify the topics that you need help with.
  • Watch and learn from fun videos, reviewing as needed.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Submit questions to one of our instructors for personalized support if you need extra help.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Waves chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Waves chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any relevant question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.

Students will review:

In this chapter, you'll learn the answers to questions including:

  • How do longitudinal and transverse waves compare and contrast to each other?
  • What are some of the major wave parameters?
  • How do constructive and destructive interference differ from each other?
  • What does superposition mean in relation to waves?
  • How does resonance relate to standing waves and wave transmission?
  • What is the definition of diffraction, and what is its impact on light and sound?

5 Lessons in Chapter 17: Waves for the MCAT: Help and Review
Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

1. Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

What comes to mind when you think of a wave? Chances are your mental image takes the form of a transverse wave. But, longitudinal waves are just as important, and understanding the difference is vital to learning about waves. In this lesson, explore both types of waves and the unique characteristics of each.

Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

2. Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

How do we measure and describe waves? How do waves differ based upon their shapes? This lesson will guide you through the five wave parameters - period, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed - that we use to characterize waves.

Constructive and Destructive Interference

3. Constructive and Destructive Interference

What happens when one wave meets another? Do the waves converge to make one giant wave? Or, do they destroy each other? In this lesson, we'll explore the workings of wave interference.

Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves

4. Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves

This lesson describes how sound and light waves are affected by the principle of resonance. Learn how resonance occurs through the vibrations and resonant frequencies of objects. You'll investigate everyday examples of resonance and learn how to break a wine glass with your voice!

Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

5. Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

This lesson explores diffraction as one of the many behaviors of waves. Learn how diffraction occurs in sound and light waves and how it is affected by the wavelength of a wave. Find out how animals use diffraction to communicate and how scientists use it to study molecules.

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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MCAT Prep: Help and Review course

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