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There are two types of mechanical waves, they are
  • Transverse wave
  • Longitudinal wave
Transverse wave:
  • In a transverse wave, the particles present in the medium vibrate in a direction perpendicular to the direction of propagating wave.
  • Example: Waves in strings, light waves, etc.
  • Transverse waves are produced only in solids and liquids.
Transverse nature of waves
Longitudinal wave:
  • In a longitudinal wave, the particles of the medium vibrate in a direction parallel to the direction of propagation of the wave.
  • Example: Waves in springs, sound waves in a medium.
  • Longitudinal waves are produced in solids, liquids and also in gases.
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Longitudinal nature of waves
The seismic wave formed during an earthquake is an example of a longitudinal wave. The waves travelling through Earth's layers due to explosions and earthquakes are called seismic waves. Using a hydrophone and seismometer, one can study these waves and record them. Seismology is the branch of science that deals with the study of seismic waves.