Wavelength vs Frequency: Difference and Comparison

Physics is the foundation for all other technical principles that are currently in use. The sounds we hear and the light we see and interact with are significant because they are associated with a variety of things.

Sound waves are a sort of mechanical wave that transmits information from one medium to another by exerting pressure and vibration.

They differ in terms of their traits and characteristics. This idea is made possible through the use of concepts such as intensity, speed, and velocity, as well as wave number, wavelength, and frequency. Although wavelength and frequency are connected, they are inversely proportionate.

Key Takeaways

  1. Wavelength refers to the distance between two successive crests or troughs of a wave.
  2. Frequency is the number of waves that pass a point in a given amount of time.
  3. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the frequency, and vice versa.

Wavelength vs Frequency

The difference between wavelength and frequency is that the distance between two consecutive crests or troughs, or sound waves, is measured in wavelength. However, on the contrary, The number of times sound waves recur per unit of time is referred to as frequency. Moreover, wavelength and frequency are inversely proportional to each other. This means the higher the value of wavelength, the lesser the frequency and vice versa.

Wavelength vs Frequency

The term “wavelength” refers to the spacing between sound waves. The term “Lamba” is used to describe and denote the length of a wave. When dealing with Wavelength, the unit of measurement utilised is the metre, which is also the international standard unit of measurement.

The wavelength, or lambda, is calculated as the velocity or speed of light divided by the frequency. The wavelength of visible light is constant from 400 nm to 700 nm. The most significant quantity is distance, which is computed using wavelength.

The recurrence of waves is referred to as frequency. The letter “f” stands for frequency. Hertz, which is also the SI unit of frequency, is the unit of measurement used when dealing with frequency.

When calculating frequency, divide the velocity of light travelled by the wavelength value of that particular sound wave to get the result in Hz. The audible sound waves have a frequency ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The measurement of time is dealt with by frequency.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWavelengthFrequency
DefinitionThe distance between two consecutive crests, troughs or sound waves.The number of occurrences of the sound waves per unit time.
Concept Concerned withDistance between the sound waves.Recurrence of the waves.
Denoted asLambda/ λf
SI UnitMeterHertz
Range400nm – 700nm20Hz – 20 KHz
Calculated asWavelength= Speed of light/FrequencyFrequency= Speed of light/Wavelength
What is obtained?Distance Time

What is Wavelength?

The distance between two consecutive crests or troughs, or sound waves, is referred to as the wavelength. The term “wavelength” refers to the measurement of the separation between sound waves.

“Lamba” describes and denotes the length of a wave. When dealing with Wavelength, the unit of measurement employed is the Meter, which is also the international standard unit of measurement.

The wavelength, also known as lambda, is calculated by dividing the velocity or speed of light by frequency. The visible light wavelength is constant between 400 and 700 nanometers. The most significant measurement is distance, which is determined by wavelength.

When someone hears various pitches, tones and intonations of sounds, which can be either high or low, however, it is because of the difference or spacing between the waves of sound.

When the waves are closer, the wavelength is shorter, and then they produce a sound that is high in tone. However, in the reverse scenario, when the waves are farther from each other, they make lower-pitch sounds.

wavelength

What is Frequency?

The number of occurrences of sound waves per unit of time is referred to as frequency. The concept of frequency is concerned with the recurrence of waves.

The letter “f” is commonly used to represent frequency. When dealing with frequency, the unit of measurement is Hertz, which is also the SI unit of frequency.

When determining the frequency, divide the velocity of light travelled by the wavelength value of that particular sound wave to get the result in Hz. The audible sound waves have a frequency between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. The measurement of time is what frequency is all about.

In some cases, the frequency can be heard. However, in other cases, the frequency can not be heard. In the case of ultrasonic sound waves, where the frequency is considerably high, the sound of the frequency can not be heard.

However, it can be heard in audio frequencies. The frequency of the trembling of the earth or the natural disaster earthquake is very low. On the other hand, ultrasound waves possess considerably high frequencies.

frequency

Main Differences Between Wavelength and Frequency

  1. Wavelength is measured as the distance between two consecutive crests or two consecutive troughs or sound waves. On the other hand, Frequency is referred to as the number of occurrences of sound waves per unit of time.
  2. Wavelength is a concept to measure the distance between sound waves. On the other hand, Frequency is a concept concerned with the recurrence of the waves.
  3. Wavelength is characterized and denoted as “Lamba”. On the other hand, Frequency is denoted as “f”.
  4. The unit of measurement used while dealing with Wavelength is the Meter. However, it is the international standard unit of measurement as well. On the other hand, the unit of measurement used while dealing with frequency is Hertz, which is the SI unit of frequency as well.
  5. While calculating wavelength or lambda, it is given as velocity or speed of light divided by frequency. On the other hand, while calculating the frequency, the answer in terms of Hz is given as the velocity of light travelled divided by the value of the wavelength of that particular sound wave.
  6. 400 nm to 700 nm is the fixed value of the wavelength of visible light. On the other hand, the frequency of the audible sound waves ranges between 20 Hz and 20 kHz.
  7. Distance is the most important measure, which is calculated by wavelength. On the other hand, frequency is concerned with the measurement of time.
Difference Between Wavelength and Frequency
References
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/lpor.201500226
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1130391/
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Last Updated : 11 July, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Wavelength vs Frequency: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comprehensive explanations of wavelength and frequency, along with the inclusion of practical examples, make the physics of sound waves accessible and engaging for readers.

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  2. The article provides a detailed understanding of wavelength and frequency in sound waves, coupled with real-world examples that illustrate their impact on sound tones. The comprehensive comparison table adds further clarity to the content.

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