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Amplitude Definition

Amplitude is the wave's height from resting point to peak, indicating energy. For example, louder sounds have higher amplitudes.

View Lesson on Wave Properties
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Wave Properties

Fun Facts

  • Turning up TV volume increases sound wave amplitude.
  • The amplitude of a water wave is measured from the surface of calm water.
  • Rock stars use electronics to increase sound wave amplitude.

Why Do We Need To Know About Amplitude

Learning about amplitude helps us understand how sound and earthquake waves work. It’s important because it helps us know why sounds are loud or soft and how earthquakes can be strong or weak. For example, scientists studying dolphins learn how they use sound to find their way and talk to each other, focusing on how loud or soft those sounds are. People who study earthquakes look at how strong the waves are to help prepare for disasters and make buildings safer.

Amplitude also matters in everyday things like making music sound good in places like concert halls and in creating devices that play or record sound. Even in making and improving materials for technology and construction, knowing about how sound moves through different materials is key.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do waves transfer matter?
Waves transfer energy, not matter.
When Zoe and Izzy demonstrated waves using the slinky, which type of wave did they observe?
Zoe and Izzy use the spring to demonstrate both transverse and longitudinal waves. Water waves are transverse waves and sound waves are longitudinal waves.
Why does the salt vibrate on the speaker when the music is turned on?
When the music is turned on sound waves cause the salt to vibrate just like sound waves cause air particles to vibrate.
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