Surface waves in water showing water ripples
Ripple in water is a surface wave.
Example of biological waves expanding over the brain cortex, an example of spreading depolarizations.
Wavelength λ, can be measured between any two corresponding points on a waveform
Animation of two waves, the green wave moves to the right while blue wave moves to the left, the net red wave amplitude at each point is the sum of the amplitudes of the individual waves. Note that f(x,t) + g(x,t) = u(x,t)
Sine, square, triangle and sawtooth waveforms.
Amplitude modulation can be achieved through f(x,t) = 1.00×sin(2π/0.10×(x−1.00×t)) and g(x,t) = 1.00×sin(2π/0.11×(x−1.00×t))only the resultant is visible to improve clarity of waveform.
Illustration of the envelope (the slowly varying red curve) of an amplitude-modulated wave. The fast varying blue curve is the carrier wave, which is being modulated.
The red square moves with the phase velocity, while the green circles propagate with the group velocity
A wave with the group and phase velocities going in different directions
Standing wave. The red dots represent the wave nodes
Light beam exhibiting reflection, refraction, transmission and dispersion when encountering a prism
Sinusoidal traveling plane wave entering a region of lower wave velocity at an angle, illustrating the decrease in wavelength and change of direction (refraction) that results.
Identical waves from two sources undergoing interference. Observed at the bottom one sees 5 positions where the waves add in phase, but in between which they are out of phase and cancel.
Schematic of light being dispersed by a prism. Click to see animation.
Formation of a shock wave by a plane.
300 px
A propagating wave packet; in general, the envelope of the wave packet moves at a different speed than the constituent waves.
Animation showing the effect of a cross-polarized gravitational wave on a ring of test particles
One-dimensional standing waves; the fundamental mode and the first 5 overtones.
A two-dimensional standing wave on a disk; this is the fundamental mode.
A standing wave on a disk with two nodal lines crossing at the center; this is an overtone.

In physics, a mechanical wave is a wave that is an oscillation of matter, and therefore transfers energy through a medium.

- Mechanical wave

In a mechanical wave, stress and strain fields oscillate about a mechanical equilibrium.

- Wave
Surface waves in water showing water ripples

2 related topics


A diving grebe creates surface waves.

Surface wave

A diving grebe creates surface waves.
The E-field of a surface plasmon polariton at an silver–air interface, at a frequency corresponding to a free-space wavelength of 10μm. At this frequency, the silver behaves approximately as a perfect electric conductor, and the SPP is called a Sommerfeld–Zenneck wave, with almost the same wavelength as the free-space wavelength.

In physics, a surface wave is a mechanical wave that propagates along the interface between differing media.

Examples are the waves at the surface of water and air (ocean surface waves).

Plane pressure pulse wave

Longitudinal wave

Plane pressure pulse wave

Longitudinal waves are waves in which the vibration of the medium is parallel ("along") to the direction the wave travels and displacement of the medium is in the same (or opposite) direction of the wave propagation.

Mechanical longitudinal waves are also called compressional or compression waves, because they produce compression and rarefaction when traveling through a medium, and pressure waves, because they produce increases and decreases in pressure.