Physics
Waves Vibrations and Oscillations

# Are electromagnetic waves transverse or longitudinal waves?

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###### 2012-04-26 23:37:23

light waves or electromagnetic waves are transverse and sound waves are longitudinal

Electromagnetic waves can be both transverse and longitudinal waves. Transverse waves are like ocean waves. They move the medium perpendicular to the medium which is the substance the wave is traveling on. Longitudinal waves are like a slinky. They compress and rarefact (The coils get close and move away). Longitudinal waves move the medium parallel to the energy.

Electromagnetic waves don't need a medium to travel. They can travel on the medium but they don't need a medium to travel through.

Mechanical waves need a medium to travel. They can't travel without one.

That is why in starwars when the deathstar blows up and your whole room shakes when it does isn't possible because in space there isn't any air! Sound is a mechanical wave, since there isn't any medium there can't be any sound. If you yell in space nothing would happen because there isn't a medium for the sound waves to travel on. You can see light in space because light is an example of an electromagnetic wave which doesn't need a medium to travel.

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## Related Questions

No, electromagnetic waves are not longitudinal waves. They are transverse waves.

mechanical waves can be both transverse and longitudinal, but all electromagnetic waves are transverse.

Transverse. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves, which are transverse.

em waves are transverse in nature. the electric and magnetic field vectors are perpendicular to the direction of propagation of waves.Electromagnetic waves in pure vacuum are transverse, but in a plasma (ionized gas) electromagnetic waves can occur as transverse or longitudinal.

light waves or electromagnetic waves are transverse and sound waves are longitudinal

X-rays are a type of electromagnetic waves; electromagnetic waves are transverse waves.

No doubt about it; infra red rays are transverse in nature. Only sound waves are longitudinal. Electromagnetic waves are transverse waves. Infra red belongs to that family of electromagnetic waves.

Sound waves in a fluid, such as air, are longitudinal waves and so they cannot be polarized like electromagnetic waves, which are transverse waves. Sound waves in solids can occur as longitudinal and transverse. The transverse waves can be polarized waves, like those of electromagnetic waves.

It is not a synonym, in any case. Mechanical waves can be both longitudinal and transverse. Electromagnetic waves are transverse.

Mechanical waves Electromagnetic waves Transverse waves Longitudinal waves

Like all types of electromagnetic wave, ultraviolet waves are transverse waves. Longitudinal waves are normaly sound or preasure waves.

Ultraviolet waves are part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum which all travel as transverse waves.

Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are therefore transverse waves.

transverse waves, as electromagnetic waves oscillate perpendicular to the direction of propogation.i.e. the direction the wave is travelling

Basically they are mechanical and electromagnetic Mechanical can be transverse (waves on the surface of water] or longitudinal[Sound waves] Electromagnetic is transverse by nature

Earthquake waves , electromagnetic waves and gravitational waves..

No. Infrared is a type of electromagnetic waves, and therefore, a transverse wave.

Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are transverse waves in that the displacement is perpendicular to the direction of travel.

Gamma rays are longitudinal.All electromagnetic waves are transverse in nature that is their vibrations are perpendicular to the direction of travel of waves.

No, infrared is a type of electromagnetic waves, and those are transverse waves.

Only electromagnetic waves can travel through a vacuum, and all electromagnetic waves are transverse waves. Therefore, no, longitudinal waves cannot travel through a vacuum.

No. Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic waves; electroctromagnetic waves are transverse waves.

Never. Electromagnetic waves are not mechnical waves. Moreover they are transverse in nature.

No. Electromagnetic waves are classified as transverse waves because the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of propagation.

Transverse waves are a type of mechanical wave. A mechanical wave is a wave that needs a medium (type of substance such as gas, liquid or solid) to travel through. Transverse waves move the medium perpendicular to the energy. Transverse waves are like ocean waves. Electromagnetic waves are waves that don't need a medium to travel on. Electromagnetic waves can be transverse or longitudinal. Longitudinal waves are waves that that compress and rarefact or get close together/bunch up and stretch apart.

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