Physics

# Why does a longitudinal wave need a medium?

###### Wiki User

It is not so much longitudinal vs. transverse - it is the type of wave. Mechanical waves, by definition, travel through matter. That includes sound waves. Mechanical waves, however, can be both longitudinal and transverse - and both require a medium.

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## Related Questions

Yes, for example sound is a longitudinal wave. It cannot travel in a vacuum.

In a longitudinal wave, the motion of the medium is parallel to the direction of the wave. With a transverse wave the motion of the medium is a right angles to the wave's direction.

longitudinal wave is one which needs a material medium to propagate.it is due to crests and troughs.

The point on a longitudinal wave where the particles of a medium are stretched apart.

The sound wave only travels in a medium, where the wave is in Longitudinal format.

medium's particle vibrate parallel to propagation of wave.

Sound is a longitudinal, mechanical wave that requires a medium.

Longitudinal waves consist particles in a medium (ex of a medium= air) vibrate back and forth in a parallel direction to the direction of the wave is traveling. Example of a longitudinal wave are sound waves. Boom! Opposite of longitudinal waves would be a transverse wave where instead of particles moving in a parallel direction, transverse waves vibrate in a medium, side by side perpendicular to the direction the wave travels to. Example of a transverse wave is a light wave. Hope this helped =]

You mean longitudinal wave by compression wave? Electromagnetic wave is transverse in nature. It does not need a material medium. It can pass even through vacuum. But compression waves bady needs a material medium.

Longitudinal wave is not electromagnetic. Sound wave is an example. Sound waves are mechanical waves. Mechanical waves badly need a material medium

It depends on the type of wave. If it is a transverse wave, then the medium moves in one direction while the wave moves in a perpendicular direction. Flicking a rope up and down causes a transverse wave. Eletromagnetic waves (e.g. light and radio) are transvere. If it is a longitudinal wave then the wave moves in the same direction as the medium. Pushing a slinky causes a longitudinal wave. Sound waves are also longitudinal.

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

No, sound cannot be transmitted without a medium. Sound is a longitudinal wave. NEarly all longitudinal waves cannot travel without medium.