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Longitudinal Wave
Transverse waves are those waves in which particle displacement takes place in a direction parallel to that of wave propagation. The particles simply oscillate about their equilibrium positions. Waves on a spring or sound waves in air are examples of longitudinal waves.
Transverse Wave
In transverse waves, the particles of the medium through which the wave propagates are displaced in a direction perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. A wave on a string is an example of wave in which the displacement of the medium takes place in a direction perpendicular to that of wave propagation.
Propagation of Sound in Air
Sound propagates through the air in a sequence of waves. The waves are longitudinal. As the waves propagate through the media, they undergo reflection, refraction and attenuation. The properties of the media, such as density, pressure, temperature, motion of the media and its viscosity affect sound propagation. Sound propagates through air pressure variations. When bodies strike the air, it experiences motion in a corresponding manner. The air contracts and then expands and transmits this motion to the surrounding air. The process is repeated continuously with the effect that the sound travels in all the directions as long as the vibrations are induced in the air.
The natural frequencies of oscillation formed in a pipe that is open at both ends are f = v/ 2L, 2v / 2L, 3v/ 2L termed as first, second and third harmonic. If the pipe is open at one end and close at the other end the natural frequencies are f= v/ 4L, f = 3v/ 4L and f = 5v/4L termed as first, third and fifth harmonic. Vis the speed of air, L is the length of pipe and f is the frequency.
Work cited
Cook, V. (1998). Longitudinal and Transverse Wave Motion. Retrieved 1 November 2015, from
Gamble, M. (2015). Transverse and Longitudinal Waves. Retrieved 1 November 2015, from