# Study the word list: GCSE Physics: Waves and Refraction 1

Key words for GCSE Physics.

 transverse A transverse wave is where the vibrations are at right angles to the direction of travel. wave A transverse wave is where the vibrations are at right angles to the direction of travel. longitudinal A longitudinal wave is where the vibrations are parallel to the direction of travel. ripple A ripple is a small wave on a surface. compression A compression is when the particles in a longitudinal wave are closer together than average. rarefaction A rarefaction is when the particles in a longitudinal wave are further apart than average. amplitude The maximum displacement of a point on a wave is called the amplitude. displacement Displacement is the distance and direction something moves. wavelength A wavelength is the distance from a point on one wave to the same point on the next wave. frequency The frequency is how many waves pass through a set point in a second. Hertz The unit of frequency is the Hertz. wave Wave speed is calculated by multiplying frequency and wavelength. speed Wave speed is calculated by multiplying frequency and wavelength. period The wave period is calculated by dividing one by the frequency.

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