Progressive wave and stationary wave are two types of waves that can be observed in nature.
The main difference is progressive wave is a wave that moves through a medium while stationary wave is a wave that appears to stand still in a medium.
Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Progressive Wave and Stationary Wave:
- Progressive Wave: Progressive wave is a wave that moves through a medium, such as water, air or a rope. It is characterized by its wavelength, amplitude, and frequency.
- Stationary Wave: Stationary wave is a wave that appears to stand still in a medium. It is created by the interference of two or more progressive waves moving in opposite directions.
Now, let’s move to Progressive Wave vs Stationary Wave:
Major differences between Progressive Wave and Stationary Wave
|Progressive Wave||Stationary Wave|
|Progressive wave is a wave that moves through a medium.||Stationary wave is a wave that appears to stand still in a medium.|
|Progressive wave is characterized by its wavelength, amplitude, and frequency.||Stationary wave is characterized by its nodes and antinodes.|
|Progressive wave is created by a source that oscillates.||Stationary wave is created by the interference of two or more progressive waves.|
|Progressive wave can be observed in the medium.||Stationary wave can be observed in the medium, but it does not physically move through it.|
|Progressive wave can be reflected, refracted, and diffracted.||Stationary wave can not be diffracted.|
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Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Progressive Wave and Stationary Wave”.
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Progressive wave and stationary wave are two different types of waves that can be observed in nature. Understanding the key differences between the two, such as the fact that progressive wave moves through a medium while stationary wave appears to stand still, is important for understanding the physics of waves.
Progressive waves, such as sound and light, are fundamental to our everyday experience, while stationary waves, such as standing waves in a string or water tank, are fascinating phenomena that can be observed in many different contexts.
So next time you observe a wave, think about whether it’s a progressive wave or a stationary wave.
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