This GCSE Physics quiz takes a second look at properties of waves. Waves transfer energy from one location to another by vibrating a medium. Some types of wave require a **material medium** but others don't, they are **vibrations in the electric and magnetic fields** that can be found throughout the known universe. Understanding how waves work has been very useful to humans as we now use them in many different ways.

**Longitudinal** waves travel as a sequence of **compressions** and **rarefactions**. They transfer energy in the same direction as they propagate (travel). They can be thought of as pressure waves, the compressions are areas of higher pressure, whereas the rarefactions are areas of lower pressure.

1.

Calculate the frequency of a wave with a speed of 3 x 10^{6} m/s and a wavelength of 1 x 10^{4} m.

30 Hz

300 Hz

3000 Hz

3 x 10^{10} Hz

This required you to divide the velocity by the wavelength

2.

What is the formula of the wave equation?

3.

In addition to being reflected and refracted, how can waves also be manipulated?

Diffused

Diffracted

Heated

By freezing

You may have seen this demonstrated in the lab using a ripple tank

4.

What are the SI units of wavelength?

Inches

Metres

Feet

Hertz

This is the correct unit to use, however it is acceptable at GCSE to use other units if they match the units that you are given in the question

5.

The period of a wave *T = *^{1}⁄_{f}, if the time period for a wave of wavelength 500 mm is 0.5 seconds, at what speed is the wave travelling?

1 x 10^{10} m/s

0.25 m/s

0.5 m/s

1 m/s

Tricky on several levels. It is testing whether you are able to combine equations and work in different units to arrive at an answer in the correct SI format i.e. metres per second

6.

Calculate the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave that has a frequency of 10 kHz.

30 m

30 km

300 km

300 m

Electromagnetic waves have a speed of 300,000,000 m/s (3 x 10^{8} m/s) metres per second i.e. at the speed of light. Although you are not required to remember this number for the exam, knowing it can save you valuable time as you won't need to find it on the data sheet

7.

Which of the following is a characteristic of a longitudinal wave?

It contains areas of compression and rarefaction

It contains both electric and magnetic waves

It contains electric waves

It contains magnetic waves

A longitudinal wave will contain areas where the particles in the wave are pushed close together and areas where the particles are far apart

8.

What types of waves are used for communications?

Radio waves

Microwaves

Light waves

All of the above

Any electromagnetic wave can be used for communication as the wave can be manipulated to any given frequency or wavelength. The three listed above are the most common waves used for communications

9.

Calculate the speed of a wave with a frequency of 3 Hz and a wavelength of 100 x 10^{-9} m.

300 x 10^{-9} m/s

33 x 10^{-9} m/s

300 x 10^{-8} m/s

300 x 10^{9} m/s

Straightforward substitution into the equation - you should have been able to do this without the need for a calculator

10.

What units is frequency measured in?

Hertz

Metres

Coulombs

Volts

A frequency of one hertz tells you that one cycle of a wave is passing a certain point in one second. Two hertz means two complete cycles pass in one second and so on

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