# What is the main difference between a mechanical wave and an electromagnetic wave?

EM waves do not need a medium to propagate, but mechanical waves need. Water waves, for example, propagate in water, but electromagnetic waves may exist in a vacuum. Mechanical waves are just variations in a medium, whereas EM waves are made up of oscillating electromagnetic and magnetic fields. A wave is defined as a disturbance that propagates through a medium, in this case, air.

Mechanical waves are divided into two broad categories: elastic waves and inelastic (or dissipative) waves. Elastic waves are those that travel through a material without breaking down or dispersing their energy- so they return to their original state when they reach their end point. Examples of elastic waves include sound waves and shock waves. In contrast, inelastic waves lose some of their energy during transmission- thus requiring more energy to restore them to their original state than elastic waves- so they are never really restored back to their original state.

Sound waves are longitudinal waves that occur when particles on either side of an object vibrate with respect to one another. If the object causing these vibrations is hard, like a rock, then the vibration of each particle over time results in a compression and expansion of the space between these particles. This compression and expansion of space is called strain; it is the source of the name "sound" wave. Strain can be measured by using sensors to detect changes in distance between objects, which indicates a change from compression to expansion or vice versa.

## Are ocean waves electromagnetic or mechanical?

What is the difference between electromagnetic and mechanical waves? Mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves are two significant modes of energy transmission in our environment. Mechanical waves include water waves and sound waves in the air. Electromagnetic waves include light waves and radio waves. All objects that have mass can transmit mechanical vibrations, such as instruments playing a note on a piano or someone speaking into a microphone. Massless objects cannot transmit vibrations mechanically but can do so electromagnetically. Radio telescopes and light detectors can sense changes in the magnetic field surrounding stars, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies caused by their passing through Earth's atmosphere.

Earth's oceans consist of one large reservoir of water that stores and releases heat via thermal expansion and contraction of its contents. This mechanism drives global climate change and causes waves to propagate across the surface of the ocean. Ocean waves are oscillations of water density and pressure that travel across the surface of the ocean. They are either marine tides or wind-generated waves. Marine tides are the result of gravitational forces acting upon the sea water by the moon and sun. As these bodies rotate around Earth they create areas of high and low pressure which cause the sea to rise and fall along specific regions of coastline. Wind-generated waves are created by gusts of wind blowing against the surface of the water. The resulting wave movement can be very large and pose a threat to ships and coastal infrastructure.

## Are seismic waves mechanical waves?

Sound or acoustic waves, ocean waves, and earthquakes or seismic waves are all examples of mechanical waves. Electromagnetic waves are capable of traveling across vacuums and do not require a medium to be transmitted. However they are beyond the scope of this question.

## What is an electromagnetic wave in simple words?

Electromagnetic waves, or EM waves, are produced by vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field. In other words, electromagnetic waves are made up of oscillating magnetic and electric fields. They are not deflected by either the electric or magnetic fields. Electromagnetic radiation is any activity that causes electrons in atoms to oscillate, thereby producing visible light or radio waves.

The term "radiation" comes from Latin word meaning "to spread out." Thus, radiation is the spreading out of energy from a source. Here, "source" means the cause of the energy flow.

In physics, electricity and magnetism can combine to produce electromagnetic waves. Such waves carry energy over long distances through conductors such as wires. They are also emitted naturally by luminous objects such as stars when they heat up during a nova explosion or solar flare. Man-made sources include radar, radio, television, and lasers. These all use electromagnetic waves to transmit information.

Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor such as a copper wire. Electric circuits control lights, appliances, and other devices using electricity from power stations. Electricity is created by any number of different methods including fossil fuel combustion (for thermal power plants), nuclear fission, and nuclear fusion. It then needs to be moved over long distances before it can be used by people and their equipment.

## Is a radio wave a mechanical wave?

Mechanical waves include water waves and sound waves. Because light waves do not include the motion of matter, they are not called mechanical waves. Microwaves in your oven, radio waves, and X-rays are examples of electromagnetic waves....

## How is light different than mechanical waves?

Light waves, on the other hand, vary from mechanical waves in that they may move into a vacuum. Light waves are a subset of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are defined as those that occur during an electric field oscillating at a frequency related to that of the magnetic field.

Electromagnetic waves are further divided into two types: ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary waves are those that travel in straight lines through a medium; they are used for transmitting information like voice signals or data. Extraordinary waves have a component of movement along the direction of wave propagation. These can be thought of as bending rays of light. They are found in dichroic materials, such as polarizing filters, that allow only certain wavelengths of light through.

Dichroic filters work by taking advantage of the fact that all light waves have both a horizontal component and a vertical component. By placing a material with strong absorption (i.e., one that absorbs much of the energy) in front of the lens, only part of the light will make it through. The remaining light is absorbed. This allows for control over which parts of the spectrum are transmitted through, making dichroic filters useful in photography and other optical applications.

## Is sound a mechanical or electromagnetic wave?

A disturbance or vibration in matter, whether solid, gas, liquid, or plasma, causes mechanical waves. A medium is the matter through which waves travel. Sound waves are a type of mechanical wave.

The electric and magnetic fields of a moving charge or an oscillating current produce a corresponding electromagnetic wave. Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic wave.

Sound is a mechanical wave that occurs when particles of a solid object, such as a string, hit another object, such as a drumhead. The particles vibrate up and down at a frequency determined by the object's material composition and size. For example, if we play a note on a violin, it will then emit a series of vibrations, or notes, at the same frequency as the first one; this is called pitch. Notes from a violin can have frequencies as high as 3 kHz, while a trumpet can reach 7 kHz or more.

Sound has many other properties as well. It can be transmitted through various materials, including air. This is how sounds are communicated over long distances via horns and microphones. It can be reflected off objects such as drums or windows and come back at you like thunder. It can penetrate deep into solid objects like wood before becoming dampened out.

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