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Electromagnetic Radiation
Waves Vibrations and Oscillations

What describes a difference between electromagnetic and mechanical waves?

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2014-01-23 22:08:47
2014-01-23 22:08:47

mechanical waves need a medium to travel through, electromagnetic waves do not. Electromagnetic waves can travel through space, mechanical waves can not.

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Electromagnetic waves do not require a medium, but mechanical waves do.

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Related Questions



Mechanical waves need matter to transfer energy, while electromagnetic waves do not.


Mechanical waves require a medium to travel, where electromagnetic waves do not.


Electromagnetic are pure energy ... they do not need a medium in order to propagate. Mechanical waves are a change in energy content of (adjacent) molecules.


Mechanical waves need a medium and em waves can travel through a vacuum


Some waves, known as mechanical waves, can travel through any matter. Other waves called electromagnetic waves can travel either through matter or through empty space


Electromagnetic waves do not lose energy over time. The field of magnetism swaps form and orientation with the electric field and back. There are frictional losses in mechanical waves which dampen them out over time.


One is an electromagnetic wave, the other a mechanical wave; the speed differs by a factor of about a million (depending on the medium); the electromagnetic wave can go through empty space, the mechanical wave can not.


Ones spanish. The other is mexican. Even though they both speak spanish they are different.


An electronic stopwatch gives a higher accuracy than a mechanical stop watch.



The only similarity is that the mechanical waves need medium to propagate and the electromagnetic waves can propagate through medium and space.




Mechanical Waves:1.Mechanical waves need a material medium for their propagation.2.These waves are produced due to the vibrations of the particles of the medium.3.They have low speed.Electromagnetic Waves:1.Electromagnetic waves do not need any material medium for their propagation.2.They are caused due to change in electric and magnetic fields.3.They have high speed.



None whatsoever. "RF" IS an electromagnetic wave.


Mechanical change is a physical change; but a mechanical change is not a change of phase.


Electromagnetic waves carry electromagnetic energy. Most other familiar waves (like sound waves or waves on water) will carry mechanical energy. There are gravity waves that carry gravitational energy, depending on who you talk to, but the basic answer is as posted.


Mechanical advantage is the difference between input and output forces.






Here are some differences between mechanical and electromagnetic waves.Mechanical waves can be either transverse or longitudinal. Electromagnetic waves are only transverse waves.Mechanical waves require a material medium to propagate. Thy can only travel in solids, liquids and gases. Electromagnetic waves do not require any medium. They can travel in vacuum also.Electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light. Mechanical waves travel at much slower speeds.Mechanical waves propagate by the vibration of molecules of the medium. Electromagnetic waves travel by the oscillations of the electrical and magnetic vectors of a photon.



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