# Transverse wave

transversetransverse wavesshear wavestransversaltransverse vibrationtransverse acoustic modetransverse directiontransverse-wavevertical corrugations
In physics, a transverse wave is a moving wave whose oscillations are perpendicular to the direction of the wave.wikipedia
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### Wave

travelling wavewavestraveling wave
In physics, a transverse wave is a moving wave whose oscillations are perpendicular to the direction of the wave.
A plane wave can be a transverse, if its effect at each point is described by a vector that is perpendicular to the direction of propagation or energy transfer; or longitudinal, if the describing vectors are parallel to the direction of energy propagation.

### Polarization (waves)

polarizationpolarizedpolarized light
"Plane" here means that the direction of propagation is unchanging and the same over the whole medium; "linearly polarized" means that the direction of displacement too is unchanging and the same over the whole medium; and the magnitude of the displacement is a sinusoidal function only of time and of position along the direction of propagation.
Polarization (also polarisation) is a property applying to transverse waves that specifies the geometrical orientation of the oscillations.

### Sound

audiosound wavesound waves
The standard example of a longitudinal wave is a sound wave or "pressure wave" in gases, liquids, or solids, whose oscillations cause compression and expansion of the material through which the wave is propagating.
Sound can propagate through a medium such as air, water and solids as longitudinal waves and also as a transverse wave in solids (see Longitudinal and transverse waves, below).

### Seismology

seismicseismologistseismologists
In seismology, shear waves are also called secondary waves or S-waves.
S-waves are transverse waves that move perpendicular to the direction of propagation.

### Light

visible lightvisiblelight source
Light is another example of a transverse wave, where the oscillations are the electric and magnetic fields, which point at right angles to the ideal light rays that describe the direction of propagation.
In 1816 André-Marie Ampère gave Augustin-Jean Fresnel an idea that the polarization of light can be explained by the wave theory if light were a transverse wave.

### Circular polarization

circularly polarizedcircularly polarized lightcircular
By combining two waves with same frequency, velocity, and direction of travel, but with different phases and independent displacement directions, one obtains a circularly or elliptically polarized wave.
The phenomenon of polarization arises as a consequence of the fact that light behaves as a two-dimensional transverse wave.

### Longitudinal wave

longitudinalcompressional wavecompression wave
Transverse waves are contrasted with longitudinal waves, where the oscillations occur in the direction of the wave.
The other main type of wave is the transverse wave, in which the displacements of the medium are at right angles to the direction of propagation.

### Luminiferous aether

aetherluminiferous etherether
However, longitudinal waves necessarily have only one form for a given propagation direction, rather than two polarizations like transverse wave.

### Optics

opticalopticoptical system
You can think of a ray of light, in optics, as an idealized narrow beam of electromagnetic radiation.
For transverse waves such as many electromagnetic waves, it describes the orientation of the oscillations in the plane perpendicular to the wave's direction of travel.

### Sinusoidal plane-wave solutions of the electromagnetic wave equation

planar light wave in vacuum

modeTEM modeTEM

### Physics

physicistphysicalphysicists
In physics, a transverse wave is a moving wave whose oscillations are perpendicular to the direction of the wave.

### Drum

drumsBass Drumdrummer
Another example is the waves that are created on the membrane of a drum.

### Electric field

electricelectrostatic fieldelectrical field
Light is another example of a transverse wave, where the oscillations are the electric and magnetic fields, which point at right angles to the ideal light rays that describe the direction of propagation.

### Magnetic field

magnetic fieldsmagneticmagnetic flux density
Light is another example of a transverse wave, where the oscillations are the electric and magnetic fields, which point at right angles to the ideal light rays that describe the direction of propagation.

### Elasticity (physics)

elasticityelasticelasticity theory
Transverse waves commonly occur in elastic solids; the oscillations in this case are the displacement of the solid particles away from their relaxed position, in directions perpendicular to the propagation of the wave.

### Shear (geology)

shearshearingshear zones
Since those displacements correspond to a local shear deformation of the material, a transverse wave of this nature is called a shear wave.

### Sine wave

sinusoidalsinusoidsine
"Plane" here means that the direction of propagation is unchanging and the same over the whole medium; "linearly polarized" means that the direction of displacement too is unchanging and the same over the whole medium; and the magnitude of the displacement is a sinusoidal function only of time and of position along the direction of propagation.

### Vector (mathematics and physics)

vectorvectorsvectorial
Let d be the direction of propagation (a vector with unit length), and o any reference point in the medium.

### Real number

realrealsreal-valued
All these parameters are real numbers.

### Inner product space

inner productinner-product spaceinner products
The symbol "•" denotes the inner product of two vectors.

### Simple harmonic motion

simple harmonic oscillatorharmonic motionharmonic
An observer that looks at a fixed point p will see the particle there move in a simple harmonic (sinusoidal) motion with period T seconds, with maximum particle displacement A in each sense; that is, with a frequency of f = 1/T full oscillation cycles every second.

### Homogeneity and heterogeneity

heterogeneoushomogeneousheterogeneity
In a homogeneous elastic medium, complex oscillations (vibrations in a material or light flows) can be described as the superposition of many simple sinusoidal waves, either transverse (linearly polarized) or longitudinal.

### Linear medium

linearlinear mediaelastic medium
In a homogeneous elastic medium, complex oscillations (vibrations in a material or light flows) can be described as the superposition of many simple sinusoidal waves, either transverse (linearly polarized) or longitudinal.