Properties of Waves Knowledge questions for AQA GCSE Physics and Combined Science

  1. Sketch a transverse wave and label the amplitude, crest and trough. Also, label the wavelength of the wave in two places. 
  2. Draw a line to represent the undisturbed position of the wave and label it clearly. 
  3. Copy these three important definitions. 
    1. The amplitude of a wave is the maximum displacement of a point on a wave away from its undisturbed position.
    2. The wavelength of a wave is the distance from a point on one wave to the equivalent point on the adjacent wave.
    3. The frequency of a wave is the number of waves passing a point each second.
  4. What is meant by the period of a wave? 
  5. Write down an equation in terms of the period that can be used to work out the frequency of a wave. 
  6. What are units of frequency? 
  7. What are the units of the period of a wave – tick-tock? 
  8. Copy the following definition of a wave. The wave speed is the speed at which the energy is transferred (or the wave moves) through the medium.
  9. Consider this equation:
  10. Can you rearrange it so that speed, frequency and wavelength are all the subject of the equation? E.g. frequency =, wavelength = 
  11. Describe a method to measure the speed of sound waves in air. 
  12. Describe a method to measure the speed of ripples on a water surface.

Physics Only

  1. What happens to the speed of sound waves when they enter a denser medium?  E.g from air into water. 
  2. What happens to the frequency of sound waves when they enter a denser medium? 
  3. What happens to the wavelength of sound waves when they enter a denser medium? 

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