What Are The Examples Of Longitudinal Waves? 

In this article, we are going to give you some examples of longitudinal waves. In physics, you may have learned about two types of waves and they are longitudinal waves and transverse waves. Have you ever wondered how you can hear the voice of a person who is yelling some distance apart from you? How did you get his voice without seeing it? There may be lots of questions in your mind. So, to get an answer read this article carefully. Like sound, there are also various things in nature that travel within a fraction of a second and are invisible to our eyes. There are some fixed patterns of propagation of waves below we will understand by considering examples of longitudinal waves.   

What Are The Longitudinal Waves? 

Before proceeding further it is essential to know what longitudinal waves are. While to get an understanding you also need to understand the definition of a transverse wave. Well, longitudinal waves are waves in which the motion of the particles or the displacement of the medium is in the same direction as the direction of the traveling wave. In contrast, transverse waves are those in which the motion of particles is perpendicular to the motion of the wave. Transverse wave examples in real life are, ripple on the surface of the water, a vibrating string of a Guitar, a Mexican wave in a sports stadium, etc.  

There are different parts of a longitudinal wave and they are crest, amplitude, truth, and wavelength. Crest means a point on the medium which has the maximum amount of positive displacement from the position of the rest. While the trough is just opposite the crest. The amplitude is the maximum displacement of a particle on a medium from its position of rest. Wavelength is the length of a complete wave cycle of a wave.

Now you know what is longitudinal wave in physics. Also, know the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves.  Let’s know some real-life examples of longitudinal waves

What Are The Examples Of Longitudinal Waves?  

The examples of longitudinal waves are given below and they will clear your concept of a longitudinal wave. 

  1. Sound Waves In Air 
  2. The Vibration In A Spring 
  3. The Tsunami Waves 
  4. Ultrasound Waves 

Examples Of Longitudinal Waves  

There are more than 3 examples of longitudinal waves because it is one of the ways to transmit energy or information. Let’s explore and understand what are examples of longitudinal waves in detail. 

1. Sound Waves In Air 

One of the examples of longitudinal waves in real life is the waves of sound in an air medium. When you speak, the sound wave propagates through the air and reaches the audience. Sound waves are the best example of longitudinal waves and are produced by vibrating or disturbing the motion of the particles that travel through a conductive medium. An example of a sound wave in a longitudinal wave is a sound produced by a tuning fork. In sound waves, the amplitude of the wave is always the difference between the maximum pressure induced by the wave and the undisturbed atmospheric pressure.

2. The Vibration In A Spring 

One of the common examples of transverse and longitudinal waves is a spring. Take a little feather and say we tap the tip of the feather and the waves will go through the feather. The resulting wave will propagate in the spring and is therefore considered a longitudinal wave. At the same time, if one end of the spring is fixed, the wave will propagate up and down, forming a transverse wave.

3. The Tsunami Waves 

There are lots of examples of longitudinal waves and transverse waves. But one of the big examples of longitudinal waves in physics is a tsunami wave. A tsunami is a dangerous natural disaster that can cause serious loss of life. It causes damage to coastal regions and that is the reason why people residing near coastal regions are afraid of Tsunamis. Water or sea waves, including tsunamis, are examples of both longitudinal as well as transverse waves. When the waves reach the coast or distant areas, the waves become relatively smaller and thinner, and the water molecules move parallel to the waves, thus becoming longitudinal waves. 

4. Ultrasound Waves 

Ultrasound waves refer to acoustic waves with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing, which is usually more than 20 kHz. While ultrasound is mechanical vibration that is above the frequency range audible to the human ear. Ultrasonic vibrations propagate as waves, similar to the propagation of light However, unlike light waves, which can travel in a vacuum, ultrasound requires an elastic medium such as a gas, solid, or liquid.   

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Is A Tsunami A Longitudinal Or Transverse Wave?

Tsunami – transverse wave in shallow water.

What Is Longitudinal Wave Example Class 11?

Solution. A wave in which particles of the medium vibrate in a direction parallel to the direction of propagation of the wave is called a longitudinal wave. Example: Sound waves.

What Is Longitudinal Wave Class 8?

A longitudinal wave is a wave in which the particles of the medium vibrate in the same direction, as the propagation of the wave.

Why Is Sound A Longitudinal Wave?

Sound wave is called longitudinal wave because it is produced by compressions and rarefactions in the air. The air particles vibrate parallel to the direction of propagation.


By reading this article, you got examples of longitudinal waves in everyday life in detail. Longitudinal waves propagate in compression and rarefaction. The compression in a longitudinal wave is the region where the particles are closest to each other, while the slit in a longitudinal wave is the region where the particles propagate. When the compression and fission regions of two waves coincide, it is called constructive interference, if the compression and fission regions do not coincide, it is known as constructive interference and if the regions of compression and rarefaction don’t coincide, it is known as destructive. These were examples of longitudinal waves