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# What happens to the speed of a wave as the wave goes from one medium to another?

Updated: 9/19/2023

Wiki User

13y ago

It depends whether the new medium is "heavier" or "lighter" than the previous medium. If it is "heavier" then the wave slows down. If it is "lighter" the wave speeds up.

Wiki User

13y ago

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Q: What happens to the speed of a wave as the wave goes from one medium to another?
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Related questions

### Does the speed of light changes when it goes from rarer medium to denser medium having angle of incidence equal to 0?

The speed of light changes when it goes from one medium to another one with a different index of refraction. The angle of incidence doesn't influence the change in speed.

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### What happens to the speed of light as light travels though materials?

The speed of light is not affected by the density of the medium. Its the path of the light that is affected . Phenomenon like reflection or refraction take place when the light goes to different medium

### What happens to the speed of particles if the temperature goes up?

Speed goes up as temperature goes up.

### What happens when light goes from a less dense medium to a more dense medium?

It slows and bends.

### How does a medium (matter)affect the speed of light?

When light goes through any medium other than a vacuum, its speed is normally slower than in a vacuum.

hello

### Where is the speed of light greater than the speed of light in water?

The speed of light through vacuum is constant. The speed of light through air is slightly less. The speed of light through water or some other medium is even less than that. The factor by which the speed of light (and its wavelength) is reduced within a medium is called the "index of refraction" (which determines the amount of bending that occurs when light goes from one medium to another).

### What is it called when a wave goes from one medium to another and it changes speed and direction?

The change in direction is called refraction.

It decreases.

It goes faster

### Is this the definition of refraction- the bending of a wave when it goes though earths mediums?

Yes, Refraction is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in speed. For example, a straw in water bends as it goes through the medium of the water, so it may go through any medium which speed changes.