About This Chapter
Overview of Waves, Sound & Light - Chapter Summary
Discover new information about or refresh your existing knowledge of waves, sound and light by studying this chapter's entertaining lessons. Our top instructors can help you get reacquainted with mechanical waves, sound, light, prisms and other related concepts. After you've finished this chapter, you will able to:
- List and discuss various wave parameters
- Differentiate between transverse and longitudinal waves
- Exhibit knowledge of pitch and volume in sound waves
- Define and describe electromagnetic waves
- Identify and describe the 7 major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
- Discuss reflection, the angle of incidence and curved surfaces
- Compare refraction and dispersion
Don't let a busy schedule affect your ability to study the lessons in this chapter. Thanks to 24/7 mobile access, you can review the lessons when it's most convenient using your computer, tablet or smartphone. Save even more time by taking our multiple-choice quizzes to confirm your understanding of key lesson concepts. For quick answers to questions you have about details presented in the lessons, be sure to stop by the dashboard and submit your questions to our subject-matter experts.
1. Mechanical Waves: Production & Propagation
What is a mechanical wave? Learn about the types of mechanical waves, how they are produced, and what affects their propagation, then test yourself by taking a quiz.
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.
3. 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.
4. What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound
Explore the minute workings of sound waves and how they travel. We'll discuss the main factors that affect the speed of sound waves, and we'll try some mathematical problems involving the wave equation.
5. Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves
What do pitch and volume mean when talking about sound waves? Further your understanding of sound waves in this lesson as we explore the more familiar aspects of sound. We'll learn about pitch and volume and how they relate to sound wave parameters.
6. Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties
In this lesson, learn the basics of electromagnetic waves and how they make up the electromagnetic spectrum. We will explore the major trends and categories within the spectrum, as well as the various sources of electromagnetic waves.
7. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
This lesson will walk you through each of the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the unique characteristics of X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, UV rays, infrared, gamma rays, and of course, visible light.
8. The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency
This lesson introduces the basics of visible light and color. Learn how the visible light spectrum is divided into the six color ranges. We'll also discuss why different people name colors in different ways.
9. Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces
How do waves reflect off of surfaces? How do we account for the images that we see reflected in various objects? Discover the answers to these questions as we investigate the rays and angles defining the law of reflection.
10. Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction
Refraction explains why light bends in water. But, did you know that mathematical laws determine exactly how light waves are bent? In this lesson, we'll explore the mechanics of wave refraction, including Snell's Law and the index of refraction.
11. What is a Prism? - Definition & Refraction
In this lesson, you'll learn about the prism and what prisms do to white light. You'll explore the properties of light waves, as well as the concept of refraction, which causes white light to bend in a prism and spread out into the different spectrum of colors.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the NES Middle Grades General Science (204): Practice & Study Guide course
- Introduction to Scientific Inquiry
- Historical Development of Scientific Laws & Theories
- Overview of Science & Society
- Intro to Matter
- Atomic Structure in Chemistry Basics
- Trends of the Periodic Table
- Nuclear Processes
- Intro to Chemical Bonds
- Overview of Types of Reactions in Chemistry
- Equilibrium in Chemistry Basics
- Reaction Rates in Chemistry
- Energy Forms and Transformations
- Electricity & Magnetism Basics
- Force, Mass & Motion
- Cell Characteristics, Organization & Processes
- Organism Classification & Phylogenesis Basics
- Animal Reproduction and Development
- Male Reproductive System
- Female Reproductive System
- Physiology I: The Circulatory, Respiratory, Digestive, Excretory, and Musculoskeletal Systems
- Physiology II: The Nervous, Immune, and Endocrine Systems
- Plant Biology
- Plant Reproduction and Growth
- Requirements of Biological Systems
- Basic Genetic Principles
- Intro to the Origin & History of Life On Earth
- Biomes & Ecosystems
- Understanding Earth's Spheres & Internal Structure
- Time & Dating in Geology
- The Lithosphere
- Rocks & Minerals
- Weathering, Erosion & Wasting Basics
- Geological Forms
- Hydrosphere Properties & Characteristics
- Overview of Atmosphere, Weather & Climate
- Intro to the Solar System & the Universe
- NES Middle Grades General Science Flashcards