This waves word search contains glossary terms associated with the study of waves and wave motion.
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Waves Word Search Glossary
Quick definitions of the terms used in the Waves Word Search.
Acoustics: The study of sound waves.
Amplitude: The measure of the displacement of the wave from its rest position.
Coherent: Two or more waves with the same frequency and phase difference.
Crest: Maximum value of a wave’s amplitude.
Diffraction: Behavior of a wave after encountering a gap or obstacle.
Electromagnetic: Self-propagating waves composed of oscillating electric and magnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves do not require a medium to propagate.
Frequency: Frequency is the measure of how many complete waves occur in a specified period of time. The most common measurement of frequency is cycles (or waves) per second.
Hertz: The SI unit of frequency. 1 Hertz (Hz) = 1 cycle/second.
Intensity: The measurement of the amount of wave energy over time (power) per unit area.
Interference: Resulting wave when one wave meets another wave.
Longitudinal: Longitudinal waves are waves where the disturbance of the wave moves in the same direction as the wave. Sound waves are longitudinal waves.
Mechanical: Mechanical waves are waves which require a medium to exist. Mechanical waves cannot travel in a vacuum.
Medium: Matter in which waves move through.
Optics: Study of the behavior of light and vision.
Period: The amount of time necessary to complete one complete wave. The period is the inverse of frequency.
Phase: Phase is an instantaneous point in time of a wave cycle. Phase also refers to the relative difference in corresponding points of between two waves with the same frequency. This definition usually refers to the phase difference between two waves
Polarization: Polarization refers to the direction a wave oscillates.
Propagation: The method waves travel through space.
Pulse: A pulse is a non-periodic wave with at least one major crest.
Reflection: The change in direction of a wave when encountering a barrier without leaving the medium.
Refraction: The change in direction of a wave caused by the wave passing from one medium to another.
Resonance: The increase in amplitude caused when one wave oscillates at a frequency very close to the same frequency of another wave or vibrating substance.
Sinusoidal: The name of the mathematical curve describing a smooth periodic oscillation.
Speed: The speed at which a wave travels. The speed of a wave is calculated by the wavelength multiplied by the frequency of the wave.
Standing: A standing wave is a wave where the position of the wave does not change.
Surface: A surface wave is a wave which behaves like both a transverse wave and a longitudinal wave.
Transverse: A transverse wave is a wave where the vibration motion is perpendicular to the wave’s direction of motion.
Trough: The lowest point of a wave’s displacement.
Wavelength: The distance from one point of a wave to the same point in the next wave.
Wavenumber: The number of wavelengths per unit distance.