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# What type of medium is required by light waves?

Updated: 9/21/2023

Wiki User

11y ago

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Unlike waves in water, for example, light waves don't require a medium at all. They can (and do) travel through a complete vacuum, for example.

If you'd like to read about this, the wikipedia article on light, and also on 'The Aether' will be of interest.

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11y ago
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Continue Learning about Physics

### What is a disturbance that moves through some type of matter or space?

a wave. Electromagnetic waves (such as light or radio waves) do not need a medium to travel through. Mechanical waves (such as sound waves) require a medium (matter) to travel through.

### What type of medium does waves on spring has?

The spring is their medium.

### What type of wave is not a mechanical wave?

Mechanical waves require a medium to travel through. Examples of mechanical waves are sound waves, water waves, a vibrating string. (See related link).Electromagnetic waves (such as light, radio waves, X-rays, microwaves) do not need a medium to travel through, so these are not mechanical waves.Certain phenomena in quantum mechanics exhibit wavelike behavior, and also does not require any medium to travel.An example of a wave that is not a mechanical wave is a light wave. A mechanical wave is a wave that needs a medium to travel through. Light can travel in space, where there is no medium (no air)

### What type of wave does sound travel on and how is this different to the wave light travels on?

Sound wave is a mechanical wave. It means that, for propagation, it badly needs a material medium. But, light waves are not mechanical waves. They are electromagnetic waves. It does not need a material medium. It can pass even through vacuum. Sound wave is longitudinal in nature where as light waves are transverse in nature. Being transverse, light can be polarized. But, sound waves being longitudinal cannot be polarized.

### What are waves that require a medium to travel through?

Medium is of two type One is material medium and other one is non-material Material medium are air medium, water medium etc Non-material medium is vacuum or free space If material medium is essential for the propagation of the wave then that wave is named as mechanical wave. Example: sound waves If such a material medium is not a must then the wave is said to be Electro magentic wave. Example: Light waves.

Related questions

Air or matter.

### What type of medium is required by radio waves?

radio waves do not require a medium to travel,it can even travel through vaccum

### What type of wave requires no medium to travel through?

Waves need not require medium to travel through. Only Mechanical waves like sound waves require medium to travel through. Electromagnetic waves travel in vaccum like light waves. Some waves transmitted in a medium due to disturbances in the medium .

### What is a disturbance that moves through some type of matter or space?

a wave. Electromagnetic waves (such as light or radio waves) do not need a medium to travel through. Mechanical waves (such as sound waves) require a medium (matter) to travel through.

### What type of medium does waves on spring has?

The spring is their medium.

### What wave type is a sound wave?

Sound waves are longitudinal in nature, and they require a medium for propagation.

### What type of wave happens in a medium?

The waves that propagate through particles of a medium are mechanical waves (aka waves of vibration).

### What type of wave is not a mechanical wave?

Mechanical waves require a medium to travel through. Examples of mechanical waves are sound waves, water waves, a vibrating string. (See related link).Electromagnetic waves (such as light, radio waves, X-rays, microwaves) do not need a medium to travel through, so these are not mechanical waves.Certain phenomena in quantum mechanics exhibit wavelike behavior, and also does not require any medium to travel.An example of a wave that is not a mechanical wave is a light wave. A mechanical wave is a wave that needs a medium to travel through. Light can travel in space, where there is no medium (no air)

### What type of waves occur when the motion of the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave?

Longitudinal waves occur where the motion of the medium is parallel to the waves.

### What type of wave does sound travel on and how is this different to the wave light travels on?

Sound wave is a mechanical wave. It means that, for propagation, it badly needs a material medium. But, light waves are not mechanical waves. They are electromagnetic waves. It does not need a material medium. It can pass even through vacuum. Sound wave is longitudinal in nature where as light waves are transverse in nature. Being transverse, light can be polarized. But, sound waves being longitudinal cannot be polarized.

### What type of wave does not need a medium to travel through?

It is electromagnetic radiation that needs no medium to travel in. Gamma rays, light and radio waves, all forms of electromagnetic radiation, can travel through the vacuum of space very well. In fact, they prefer it.

### What are waves that require a medium to travel through?

Medium is of two type One is material medium and other one is non-material Material medium are air medium, water medium etc Non-material medium is vacuum or free space If material medium is essential for the propagation of the wave then that wave is named as mechanical wave. Example: sound waves If such a material medium is not a must then the wave is said to be Electro magentic wave. Example: Light waves.