Relation Between Velocity and Wavelength

Velocity and Wavelength Relation

Wavelength is considered as the measure of the length of a wave cycle, which is complete entirely. The velocity of a wave is considered as the distance travelled by a particular point on the wave. Generally, if you randomly take any wave, the wavelength and velocity relation will be witnessed as proportionate. This relation is expressed by using the wave velocity formula. This formula was derived in order to explain the relation between velocity and wavelength. In this article, we will have a brief discussion regarding velocity,  wavelength and how they are related to each other. We will discuss the velocity wavelength formula for better understanding.


The velocity of an object is considered as the rate of change of the position of the object with respect to a particular frame of time and reference. To some, it might sound complicated and surprising, but velocity is basically speeding up a particular object in the same direction. Velocity is considered as a vector quantity because to define velocity; one needs both the direction and magnitude of the object or the wave. The SI unit of velocity got fixed as a metre per second (m/s). If you witness a change in the direction or magnitude in the velocity of a particular object, then it is believed that the object is accelerating at a certain speed.

Initial and Final Velocity

Initial velocity is defined as the speed at which an object travels when an initial force is applied to the object by gravity. On the other hand, the final velocity is considered as a vector quantity because it is considered as the measure of the speed and direction of a moving object when the object has reached its maximum acceleration point.

Constant Velocity

The motion with a constant velocity from the initial stage is considered the simplest form of motion. Normally constant velocity gets witnessed whenever an object slides over a horizontal or low surface that has a bit of friction. For example, when a puck slides over a hockey rink.


Wavelength is considered as the property of a wave in which the total distance between two identical points of two successive waves is measured or calculated. Wavelength is denoted by the Greek letter Lambda. So, the total distance that gets calculated between the trough of one wave and the next wave is known as the wavelength.

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The wavelength of light is defined as the distance that exists between two successive crests or troughs of the light waves.

The Wavelength of Visible Light

  • The wavelength of visible light, when calculated, it ranges between 400 nm to 700 nm. From here, you can also learn and know about the wavelengths of different colours that got extracted from the spectrum.

  • The spectrum of visible light is believed to have different colours which have different wavelengths.

  • The violet colour that comes out of the spectrum has the shortest wavelength, whereas the red colour has the longest wavelength.

Relation Between Velocity and Wavelength of Light

It is considered that for any wave when you multiply the wavelength with the frequency of the wave, it gives the velocity of the wave. This formula was given mathematically by the wave velocity formula.

V = f × λ


V = The velocity of the wave, which gets measured using m/s

f = The frequency of the wave which gets measured using Hz

λ = The wavelength of the wave which gets measured using m

Amplitude, frequency, wavelength and velocity are considered as characteristics of a wave. In the case of a constant frequency, the wavelength is directly proportional to the velocity. This property is derived by 

V ∝ λ

To explain this relation between wavelength and velocity of light, let's discuss some examples.

  • In a situation when the frequency is constant if the wavelength of a wave gets doubled, then automatically, the velocity of the wave also gets doubled. 

  • In a situation when the frequency remains constant, if the wavelength of the wave increases four times from its original position, then the velocity of the wave will also increase four times.

Hence, this is a brief explanation of velocity and wavelength relation, hope you understood every point and concepts so that it can help you in the near future.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Discuss the Relationship Between Wavelength, Frequency and Velocity.

Ans: According to physics theory, it is said that wavelength and frequency are inversely proportional to each other, but both are directly proportional to velocity. In order to understand this relationship more clearly, let's discuss some examples:

  • When the wavelength of the wave increases and the frequency is constant, the velocity of the wave also increases because the wavelength is directly proportional to velocity.

  • When the frequency of a wave increases and the wavelength is constant, the velocity of the wave increases.

  • When the frequency of the wave increases, the wavelength of the wave decreases because they are inversely proportional to each other.

2. State the Difference Between Speed and Velocity.

Ans: The difference between speed and velocity is as follows:-

  • Speed is considered as the time rate at which a particular is moving along in a specific path. In contrast, velocity is the measure of the rate and direction of a particular moving object.

  • The mathematical calculation of speed is very simple. The average speed of a particular object gets calculated by dividing the distance travelled by the object by the time it took to reach the endpoint. Whereas velocity is complicated and difficult to calculate because it has different methods of calculation, it gets calculated with the knowledge we have. Average velocity is calculated by dividing change in position by change in time.