May 17, 2010

Random thought for the day:

Longitudinal waves are normally understood to consist of particles vibrating along the direction of the wave's propagation, while in transverse waves, particles vibrate at right angles to the direction of the wave's propagation. Yet in a third kind of wave -- often confused with longitudinal waves -- particles actually oscillate inward and outward relative to the direction of the wave's propagation: periodically "thinning" and "thickening" it.

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