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Water waves are both longitudinal and transverse. State whether true or false.
b) False

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint: A wave is a disturbance that propagates or moves from the place it was created. Many people think that water waves push water from one direction to another. The energy moves forward through the water, but the water starts in one place.

Complete answer:
A simple wave consists of a periodic disturbance that propagates from one place to another. In a horizontal direction, the wave propagates. Such a wave is called a transverse wave or shear wave, in such a wave, the disturbance is perpendicular to the direction of propagation. In contrast, in a longitudinal wave or compressional wave, the disturbance is parallel to the direction of the propagation. Waves may be transverse, longitudinal or a combination of both. In the different types of waves, energy can propagate in a different direction relative to the motion of the wave. Water waves are both transverse and longitudinal. As a wave travels through the water, the particles travel in clockwise circles and the radius of the circles decreases as the depth into the water. Hence, option A i.e. true is the correct answer.

Note: Earthquakes waves under the Earth’s surface also have both longitudinal and transverse components. Sound waves in air and water are longitudinal. Fluids do not have appreciable shear strength and thus the sound waves in them must be longitudinal. The speed at which the disturbances move are called wave velocity.

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