Wave Terminology

Wave Terms

Most Commonly Used: A summary of the most common wave types used on this site, based on the form or motion of the wave. Examples of these types of waves are found on the next page.


Wave terminology summary


All Terms: Terms used throughout this site and paper and their definitions.  Most terms are used from definitions from Dictionary.com. Italicized terms are introduced by energy wave theory.

  • Aether – the hypothetical medium formerly believed to fill all space and to support the propagation of electromagnetic waves. Also referred to as ether.
  • Amplitude – the maximum displacement or distance moved by a point on a vibrating body or wave measured from its equilibrium position. It is equal to one-half the length of the vibration path.
  • Amplitude factorThe resulting amplitude at a given point in space and time, calculated as a result of constructive and destructive waves.
  • Constructive interference – the interference of two or more waves of equal frequency and phase, resulting in their mutual reinforcement and producing a single amplitude equal to the sum of the amplitudes of the individual waves.
  • Density – A measure of the quantity of some physical property per unit length, area, or volume (usually volume).
  • Energy – The capacity or power to do work, such as the capacity to move an object (of a given mass) by the application of force. Energy can exist in a variety of forms, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, thermal, or nuclear, and can be transformed from one form to another.
  • Force – In physics, something that causes a change in the motion of an object.
  • GranuleThe fabric or substance of the aether allowing energy to flow. Granules respond to a wave such that it can pass its inertia and momentum to the next granule.
  • In-waveThe incoming wave into a wave center before it is reflected.
  • Longitudinal wave – a wave that is propagated in the same direction as the displacement of the transmitting medium.  See example.
  • Node – A node is a point along a standing wave where the wave has minimum amplitude.
  • Out-waveThe outgoing wave reflected from a wave center.
  • Particle – one of the extremely small constituents of matter, as an atom or nucleus.
  • Photon – A photon is an elementary particle, the quantum of all forms of electromagnetic radiation including light. It is the force carrier for electromagnetic force, even when static via virtual photons.
  • Standing wave – a wave in a medium in which each point on the axis of the wave has an associated constant amplitude ranging from zero at the nodes to a maximum at the antinodes. See example.
  • Transverse wave – A wave that oscillates perpendicular to the axis along which the wave.  See example.
  • Traveling wave – a wave in which the medium moves in the direction of propagation of the wave. See example.
  • Wave centerthe reflecting point of waves, creating a standing wave.
  • Wavelength – The distance between one peak or crest of a wave and the next peak or crest. It is equal to the speed of the wave divided by its frequency, and to the speed of a wave times its period.



Amplitude and Wavelength

Visual – Amplitude and Wavelength in a Wave




Visual – The Node and Anti-Node Positions in a Standing Wave