Please wait...
1800-212-7858 (Toll Free)
9:00am - 8:00pm IST all days
For Business Enquiry


Thanks, You will receive a call shortly.
Customer Support

You are very important to us

For any content/service related issues please contact on this toll free number


Mon to Sat - 11 AM to 8 PM

What are mechanical and non-mechanical waves?

Asked by tvkm66 6th March 2009, 8:39 PM
Answered by Expert
Mechanical waves require a medium for the transfer of energy to occur. For example, water waves are mechanical. Tsunami waves released after an earthquake transfer the energy of the quake to distant shorelines. Sound waves are another type of  mechanical wave. They are compression waves that have a frequency between 20-20000 hertz and travel at an speed of approximately 340 m/sec at room temperature. Different substances carry compression waves at various speeds; metals carry it faster than water which transfers it faster than air. As a mechanical wave travels through a medium, it loses energy to the medium. The molecules in the medium are forced to vibrate back and forth, generating heat. Consequently, the wave can only propagate through a limited distance. When this event happens, we say that the wave has been damped. Damping can be observed by the fact that the wave's amplitude has decreased.
Non-mechanical waves do not require a medium for the transfer of energy to occur. The only type of non-mechanical waves are electromagnetic in nature. They can travel through the vacuum of space. Light from distant stars travel hundreds of thousands of millions of years to reach us. Although the electromagnetic radiation spans a large spectrum of wavelengths and frequencies, all electromagnetic radiation travels through a vacuum at 3 x 108 m/sec.
Answered by Expert 8th March 2009, 10:19 PM
Rate this answer
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

You have rated this answer /10

Your answer has been posted successfully!

Latest Questions

Maharashtra VIII Geography
Asked by dwivedi.umesh1 23rd July 2019, 8:59 PM
CBSE XI Science Biology
Asked by Success.tuli2002 23rd July 2019, 8:53 PM
ICSE IX Physics
Asked by mintosingh935 23rd July 2019, 8:50 PM

Chat with us on WhatsApp