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A brief note on Characteristics of Wave Motion

The motion is able to transfer energy and momentum by applying a medium to transfer the energy from one to another point is called wave motion.

In this assignment, different types of wave motion will be illustrated depending on the characteristics. Some wave motions use a medium while transferring energy from one to another point while the other motion does not want to use any medium for transferring energy. In this study, different types of motion will be defined based on their characteristics. Motion waves are going to be occurring in the first place in physics for studying the significance of energy transformation. 

What Is Wave Motion? 

Wave motion is the transfer of momentum and energy from one specific point to another through a medium that connects both the points for the wave to travel. The ways of wave motion have a medium of propagation, an energy transfer protocol and the propagated energy dimensions. Based on the pathways, wave motions can be classified into mechanical and non-mechanical waves that take the particle vibration into consideration and generate longitudinal waves and transverse waves in the process. Further, wave motions can also be classified into progressive and standing waves based on the transfer and projection of energy through mediums. 

The Key Characteristics of Wave Motion 

The wave motions involve different characteristics based on the disturbances in the travel through the mediums. First, there is a reappearing period oscillation within the particles involved in the motion that eventually determines the position of the Equilibrium. Further, the particle velocity stands at the maximum point while being in the extreme and the mean position while travelling. The momentum and energy are transferred from one specific point to another without even transferring the medium particles within the waves. Most importantly, the velocity of the particle and the velocity of the wave are characteristically different from each other while reaching the specific point of destination through a medium. 

What Is Periodic Oscillation? 

The periodic oscillation is the repetition of the regular cycle with a perpetual motion that can be spotted within the waves and elements that move side-to-side and up and down. The periodic motion always involves a specific interval of time that is commonly known as the oscillatory period for the waves. The motion from the fixed position to a moving state can also be termed a periodic oscillation. In periodic oscillation, time is repeated after the smallest interval of time with a particular motion of the particles that is moving in real-time.

Types of Oscillation 

Oscillation can be categorised into three different types based on the movement of particles in real time. The three types of oscillations are:

  • Free oscillation: In this type, the body maintains a proper vibration based on its own frequency. It does not involve any external force for starting the oscillation process. 
  • Forced oscillation: This type of oscillation is entirely dependent on the external periodic force and the amplitude within this oscillation experiences constant damping. 
  • Damped oscillation: After the free oscillations are dead, this type of oscillation changes by decreasing the periodic oscillation with time. It can also be influenced by external forces and friction in real-time.

The Equilibrium Position of the Wave Motion 

The equilibrium position is not the condition of a system that has a motion state nor has any internal energy while changing with time. The equilibrium of wave motion does change over time that eventually maintains the position of equilibrium. After the equilibrium is stretched to the end, it manages to hold at rest and the position of the equilibrium remains static at times. 

Particle Velocity in the Wave Motion

Particle velocity is the momentum of a particle that can be real or visualised in a medium as it transfers a wave. The meaning of constant velocity is referred to the momentum of zero. The modification of velocity works in a certain time break and that also helps work under the acceleration of the graph. On a contradictory note, velocity is a useful feature that can be used to measure the distances of the particles that are moving in a fixed direction with the application of a time gap. 


Conclusively, the particles that are affecting the acceleration while the body mass is reliable on the medium. There are different elements that are transmitting energy from one to another point and are divided into different characteristics. During a wave motion, the transmitted energy and the maintenance of speed can be referred to as elements that are occurring in the development of the wave motion. The acceleration applied in the measurement can reach the maximum limit in the wave.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

On what properties does wave motion depend?

Ans.The role of transverse, oscillation, and vacuum will be defined in this study for getting a better understanding...Read full

What is the formula for particle velocity?

Ans. The particle velocity is dependable on the momentum of the wave motion. The frequency of the particle velocity ...Read full

Why does the equilibrium of wave motion shift?

Ans. At the position of the equilibrium, the velocity can move to its maximum value and the acceleration can fall to...Read full

Why is oscillatory motion always periodic?

Ans. The oscillatory motion is always periodic and it is defined in science as its body is fixed in its position. Fo...Read full