We all have been tortured by the lessons of physics. But as physics is a culmination of natural things, we can not run far from it.
- Sound waves are mechanical waves that require a medium to travel.
- Light waves are electromagnetic waves that do not require a medium to travel.
- Sound waves travel slower than light waves.
Sound Waves vs Light Waves
The difference between sound waves and light waves is that the light waves are categorised as electromagnetic waves, and due to this reason, these are visible to the mortal eyes, but sound waves are mechanical waves and can not be seen. Sound waves are incapable to travel through a vacuum, but light waves can as they do not require any kind of means in order to travel.
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Longitudinal is the category of sound waves. These are mechanical waves and can travel through all three states that are solid, liquid and gas.
Electromagnetic light waves are competent to travel without the help of any medium, and thus it travels through a vacuum which is without any matter.
|Parameters of Comparison||Sound Waves||Light Waves|
|Wave type||Sound waves are classified as mechanical waves.||Light waves are established as electromagnetic waves.|
|Production||Sound waves are produced by oscillating particles of the medium.||Light waves are produced by oscillating charged particles of the medium.|
|Medium||It needs a medium to travel.||It does not require any medium to travel.|
|Travel through vacuum||Sound waves are not qualified to travel through a vacuum.||Light waves can travel through a vacuum.|
|Wavelength||Sounds waves have a very long wavelength.||Light waves have a short wavelength in comparison.|
|Nature||Sound waves are longitudinal waves.||Light waves are transverse in nature.|
What are Sound Waves?
Sound waves exist as longitudinal waves. These waves travel through with the help of different mediums such as air and water.
According to physics, sound is a vibration that propagates a wave, and this wave transmits through mediums like gas, liquid or solid.
Sound waves can be divided into two categories – compression and rarefaction. In compression molecules of sound waves are compressed together.
Sound waves are called mechanical waves. Sound waves travel through air and water effortlessly, but they are incapable of travelling through a vacuum.
What are Light Waves?
Light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This radiation is given to us by stars like the sun in the case of the earth.
Light waves do not depend on any sort of medium to travel, and this is why they can travel easily through a vacuum. In a vacuum, the speed of light waves is approximately 186,282 miles per second.
Light waves have three measurable properties, these are amplitude, frequency, and wavelength. Each wave of light possesses a wavelength.
Main Differences Between Sound Waves and Light Waves
- Sound waves are known as longitudinal waves, whereas light waves are transverse.
- Sound waves are generated by oscillating particles of the medium, while light waves are produced by charged particles of the oscillating of the medium.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.