Test Your Wave Motion Concepts! Trivia Quiz

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Wave Quizzes & Trivia

Wave motion is the shift of energy and momentum from one aspect of the medium without actual passage of matter between two points. Wave motion is categorized into three different ways. These include the medium of propagation, the dimensions in which a wave propagates energy, and the energy transfer. If you want to know more, then this is the quiz for you.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    The source of all wave motion is a _____________________________

    • A.

      Region of variable high and low pressure

    • B.

      Movement of matter

    • C.

      Vibration

    • D.

      Harmonic object

    Correct Answer
    C. Vibration
    Explanation
    Wave motion is caused by the vibration of particles or objects. When particles or objects vibrate, they create disturbances that propagate through a medium, resulting in the transmission of waves. These vibrations can be caused by various factors such as the movement of matter, changes in pressure, or the presence of a harmonic object. Therefore, the correct answer is vibration.

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  • 2. 

    The time needed for a wave to make one complete cycle is its ___________________.

    • A.

      Period

    • B.

      Velocity

    • C.

      Frequency

    • D.

      Amplitude

    • E.

      Wavelength

    Correct Answer
    A. Period
    Explanation
    The time needed for a wave to make one complete cycle is called its period. It represents the amount of time it takes for a wave to go from one point to the next identical point in its motion. Period is measured in seconds and is inversely related to frequency, which is the number of complete cycles of a wave that occur in one second.

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  • 3. 

    The distance between successive identical parts of a wave is called its _________________.

    • A.

      Frequency

    • B.

      Amplitude

    • C.

      Wavelength

    • D.

      Velocity

    • E.

      Period

    Correct Answer
    C. Wavelength
    Explanation
    The distance between successive identical parts of a wave is called its wavelength. Wavelength is a physical quantity that represents the spatial extent of one complete cycle of a wave. It is usually measured in meters or other units of length. In other words, wavelength is the distance between two consecutive peaks or troughs of a wave. It is inversely related to the frequency of the wave, meaning that as the wavelength increases, the frequency decreases, and vice versa.

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  • 4. 

    Hertz is a ___________.

    • A.

      Unit of period

    • B.

      Unit of frequency

    • C.

      Unit of wavelength

    • D.

      Type of car

    • E.

      Special radio wave

    Correct Answer
    B. Unit of frequency
    Explanation
    Hertz is a unit of frequency, which measures the number of cycles or oscillations per second. It is commonly used to describe the frequency of waves, such as sound waves or electromagnetic waves.

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  • 5. 

    A wave created by shaking a rope up and down is called a ________________.

    • A.

      Doppler wave

    • B.

      Standing wave

    • C.

      Transverse wave

    • D.

      Constructive wave

    • E.

      Longitudinal wave

    Correct Answer
    C. Transverse wave
    Explanation
    Standing waves are not always created by vibrating a string. Only certain frequencies cause this. However, pulsing a rope/slinky, etc. will always produce a transverse wave - where the medium moves perpendicular to the wave motion.

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  • 6. 

    Which of the following is NOT a transverse wave?

    • A.

      Light

    • B.

      Sound

    • C.

      Radio wave

    • D.

      All of these

    • E.

      None of these

    Correct Answer
    B. Sound
    Explanation
    Sound is not a transverse wave because it propagates through a medium by compressing and rarefying the particles in the direction of its propagation. Transverse waves, on the other hand, have oscillations perpendicular to the direction of their propagation. Light and radio waves are examples of transverse waves as they travel by vibrating electric and magnetic fields perpendicular to their direction of travel. Therefore, the correct answer is sound.

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  • 7. 

    Sound is an example of a _________________.

    • A.

      Longitudinal wave

    • B.

      Transverse wave

    • C.

      Doppler wave

    • D.

      Standing wave

    • E.

      Constructive wave

    Correct Answer
    A. Longitudinal wave
    Explanation
    Sound is an example of a longitudinal wave because it travels through a medium by causing particles to vibrate parallel to the direction of wave propagation. In other words, the compression and rarefaction of particles occur in the same direction as the wave travels. This is in contrast to a transverse wave where the particles vibrate perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. The Doppler wave, standing wave, and constructive wave are not accurate descriptions of sound waves.

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  • 8. 

    Unlike a transverse wave, a longitudinal wave has no __________________.

    • A.

      Wavelength

    • B.

      Frequency

    • C.

      Amplitude

    • D.

      Speed

    • E.

      A longitudinal wave has all of the above

    Correct Answer
    E. A longitudinal wave has all of the above
    Explanation
    Even though a longitudinal wave does not move perpendicular from the equilibrium line, it does move away from equilibrium as it is compressed and stretched. This gives it amplitude.

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  • 9. 

    When two or more waves are at the same place at the same time, the resulting effect is called _________________.

    • A.

      A period

    • B.

      A shock wave

    • C.

      A standing wave

    • D.

      A Doppler wave

    • E.

      Interference

    Correct Answer
    E. Interference
    Explanation
    When two or more waves are at the same place at the same time, they interact with each other and create a combined effect known as interference. This occurs when the waves either reinforce each other, resulting in constructive interference, or cancel each other out, resulting in destructive interference. Interference is a fundamental concept in wave physics and can be observed in various phenomena, such as the formation of patterns in water waves or the interference of light waves in the famous double-slit experiment.

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  • 10. 

    Where can you touch a standing wave on a rope without disturbing the wave?

    • A.

      At an antinode

    • B.

      At any place along the wave

    • C.

      At a node

    Correct Answer
    C. At a node
    Explanation
    At a node, the displacement of the rope is always zero. This means that the particles of the rope at a node do not move up or down, but rather stay in a fixed position. Therefore, touching the rope at a node will not disturb the wave because there is no motion or energy transfer at that point.

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  • 11. 

    Some of the wave's energy is always dissipated as heat.  In time, this will reduce the wave's ____________________.

    • A.

      Period

    • B.

      Frequency

    • C.

      Wavelength

    • D.

      Speed

    • E.

      Amplitude

    Correct Answer
    E. Amplitude
    Explanation
    As waves propagate, some of their energy is always converted into heat, resulting in a decrease in the wave's amplitude. Amplitude refers to the maximum displacement or height of a wave from its equilibrium position. Therefore, as the wave loses energy and its amplitude decreases, it becomes smaller in size and intensity. The period, frequency, wavelength, and speed of the wave remain unaffected by the dissipation of energy as heat.

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  • 12. 

    The amplitude of a particular wave is 1 meter.  The top-to-bottom distance of the disturbance is _________________.

    • A.

      2 m

    • B.

      0.5 m

    • C.

      1 m

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    A. 2 m
    Explanation
    The amplitude of a wave is defined as the maximum displacement of particles of the medium from their equilibrium position. In this case, the amplitude of the wave is given as 1 meter. The top-to-bottom distance of the disturbance refers to the total vertical distance covered by the wave from its highest point to its lowest point. Since the amplitude is 1 meter, the top-to-bottom distance would be twice the amplitude, which is 2 meters. Therefore, the correct answer is 2 m.

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  • 13. 

    Whena  pendulum clock is taken from sea level to the top of a high mountain, it will ___________.  (think about the acceleration due to gravity as you get farther from the earth).

    • A.

      Lose time

    • B.

      Gain time

    • C.

      Neither lose nor gain time

    Correct Answer
    A. Lose time
    Explanation
    Acceleration due to gravity will decrease as you get to a higher elevation. This will increase the period -- so 1 second on the clock will actually take more than 1 second. This will make you lose time -- your clock will tick slower.

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  • 14. 

    If you double the frequency of a vibrating object, its period ________________.

    • A.

      Doubles

    • B.

      Is quartered

    • C.

      Halves

    Correct Answer
    C. Halves
    Explanation
    When you double the frequency of a vibrating object, its period halves. Frequency refers to the number of vibrations or cycles per second, while the period is the time it takes for one complete cycle. Doubling the frequency means that the object is now vibrating at a faster rate, completing more cycles in the same amount of time. As a result, the period, which is the time for one cycle, is reduced by half.

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  • 15. 

    You dip your finger repeatedly into water and make waves.  If you dip your finger more frequently, the wavelength of the waves __________________.

    • A.

      Stays the same

    • B.

      Lengthens

    • C.

      Shortens

    Correct Answer
    C. Shortens
    Explanation
    Increase in frequency decreases the wavelength

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  • 16. 

    During a single period, the distance traveled by a wave is ____________.

    • A.

      Two wavelengths

    • B.

      One-half wavelength

    • C.

      One wavelength

    Correct Answer
    C. One wavelength
    Explanation
    During a single period, the distance traveled by a wave is one wavelength. This is because a wave completes one full cycle (oscillation) during a period, which means it travels the distance of one wavelength. The wavelength is the distance between two consecutive points in a wave that are in the same phase, such as two consecutive crests or two consecutive troughs. Therefore, the correct answer is one wavelength.

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  • 17. 

    A child swings back and forth on a playground swing.  If the child stands rather than sits, the time for a to-and-fro swing is __________________.

    • A.

      Shortened

    • B.

      Lengthened

    • C.

      Unchanged

    Correct Answer
    A. Shortened
    Explanation
    When the child stands up, s/he decreases the length of the pendulum. Decreasing the length shortens the period.

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  • 18. 

    Suppose a simple pendulum is suspended in an elevator.  When the elevator is accelerating upward, the period of the pendulum ____________________.

    • A.

      Doesn't change

    • B.

      Decreases

    • C.

      Increases

    Correct Answer
    B. Decreases
    Explanation
    Increase in acceleration will decrease the period.

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  • 19. 

    A horse would be able to run faster if most of the mass in its legs were concentrated ______________.

    • A.

      Halfway up its legs

    • B.

      Uniformly all along its legs

    • C.

      Towards its feet

    • D.

      In the upper part, nearer to the horse's body

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. In the upper part, nearer to the horse's body
    Explanation
    Think of a horse's leg as a pendulum, the closer the mass is to the pivot point (leg joint), the faster the pendulum can move back and forth ...(visualize an old-fashioned metronome)

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  • 20. 

    The frequency of the second hand on a clock is _________________.

    • A.

      60 Hz

    • B.

      1/60 Hz

    • C.

      1 Hz

    Correct Answer
    B. 1/60 Hz
    Explanation
    The frequency of the second hand on a clock is 1/60 Hz because it completes one full revolution every 60 seconds. This means that it moves 60 times in one minute, resulting in a frequency of 1/60 Hz.

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  • 21. 

    Two waves arrive at the same place at the same time exactly in step with each other.  Each wave has an amplitude of 1 m.  The resulting wave has an amplitude of _____________.

    • A.

      0.5 m

    • B.

      0.25 m

    • C.

      2 m

    • D.

      4 m

    • E.

      1 m

    Correct Answer
    C. 2 m
    Explanation
    When two waves arrive at the same place at the same time exactly in step with each other, they are said to be in phase. In this case, since both waves have an amplitude of 1 m, their amplitudes add up to give a resulting wave with an amplitude of 2 m.

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  • 22. 

    The period of an ocean wave is 10 seconds.  What is the wave's frequency?

    • A.

      20 Hz

    • B.

      10 Hz

    • C.

      1.0 Hz

    • D.

      0.1 Hz

    • E.

      0.5 Hz

    Correct Answer
    D. 0.1 Hz
    Explanation
    The frequency of a wave is the number of complete cycles it completes in one second. In this case, the wave has a period of 10 seconds, which means it completes one cycle every 10 seconds. To find the frequency, we can use the formula: frequency = 1 / period. Therefore, the frequency of the wave is 1 / 10 = 0.1 Hz.

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  • 23. 

    A certain ocean wave has a frequency of 0.05 hertz and a wavelength of 10 meters.  What is the wave speed?

    • A.

      0.05 m/s

    • B.

      200 m/s

    • C.

      10 m/s

    • D.

      0.5 m/s

    • E.

      0.005 m/s

    Correct Answer
    D. 0.5 m/s
    Explanation
    wave speed = (frequency) x (wavelength)

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  • 24. 

    A weight on the end of a spring bobs up and down one complete cycle every 2 seconds.  Its frequency is _________________.

    • A.

      2 hertz

    • B.

      0.5 hertz

    • C.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    B. 0.5 hertz
    Explanation
    The frequency of a wave is defined as the number of complete cycles it completes in one second. In this case, the weight on the spring completes one full cycle every 2 seconds. Therefore, the frequency can be calculated as 1 cycle/2 seconds, which is equal to 0.5 hertz.

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  • 25. 

    A weight at the end of a spring bobs up and down one complete cycle every 2 seconds.  Its period is ______________.  

    • A.

      2 sec

    • B.

      0.5 sec

    • C.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    A. 2 sec
    Explanation
    The period of a wave or oscillation is the time it takes for one complete cycle. In this case, the weight at the end of the spring completes one cycle every 2 seconds. Therefore, the period of the weight's motion is 2 seconds.

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  • 26. 

    A weight is suspended from a spring bobs up and down over a distance of 1 meter in 2 seconds.

    • A.

      2 hertz

    • B.

      1 hertz

    • C.

      0.5 hertz

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    C. 0.5 hertz
    Explanation
    The frequency of a wave is defined as the number of complete cycles it completes in one second. In this case, the weight is bobbing up and down over a distance of 1 meter in 2 seconds. Since a complete cycle consists of both the upward and downward motion, the weight completes one cycle in 2 seconds. Therefore, the frequency is 1 cycle per 2 seconds, which can be simplified to 0.5 hertz.

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  • 27. 

    A leaf on a pond oscillates up and down two complete cycles each second as a water wave passes.  What is the wave's frequency?

    • A.

      3 hertz

    • B.

      6 hertz

    • C.

      0.5 hertz

    • D.

      1 hertz

    • E.

      2 hertz

    Correct Answer
    E. 2 hertz
    Explanation
    The leaf on the pond oscillates up and down two complete cycles each second. This means that it completes two full oscillations in one second. The frequency of a wave is defined as the number of cycles or oscillations that occur in one second. Therefore, since the leaf completes two cycles in one second, the frequency of the wave is 2 hertz.

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  • 28. 

    A cork floating in the ocean oscillates up and down two complete cycles in 1 second as an ocean waves passes by.  The wave's wavelength is 10 meters.  What is the wave's speed?

    • A.

      2 m/s

    • B.

      40 m/s

    • C.

      10 m/s

    • D.

      20 m/s

    • E.

      More than 40 m/s

    Correct Answer
    D. 20 m/s
    Explanation
    The wave's speed can be calculated using the formula: speed = wavelength / time period. In this case, the wavelength of the wave is given as 10 meters and the cork completes two cycles in 1 second. Therefore, the time period is 1 second. Plugging these values into the formula, we get speed = 10 meters / 1 second = 10 m/s. However, since the cork oscillates up and down two complete cycles in 1 second, the wave's speed is double that of the cork's speed. Therefore, the correct answer is 20 m/s.

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  • 29. 

    A wave travels an average distance of 6 meters in 1 second.  What is the wave's velocity?

    • A.

      More than 6 m/s

    • B.

      1 m/s

    • C.

      Less than 0.2 m/s

    • D.

      6 m/s

    • E.

      3 m/s

    Correct Answer
    D. 6 m/s
    Explanation
    The wave's velocity is 6 m/s because velocity is defined as the rate at which an object changes its position. In this case, the wave travels an average distance of 6 meters in 1 second, which means it covers 6 meters of distance in 1 second. Therefore, the wave's velocity is 6 m/s.

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  • 30. 

    Radio waves travels at the speed of light, 300,000 km/s.  The wavelength of a radio wave received at 100 megahertz is _________________.

    • A.

      0.33 m

    • B.

      3.0 m

    • C.

      30 m

    • D.

      3.3 m

    Correct Answer
    B. 3.0 m
    Explanation
    Radio waves travel at the speed of light, which is approximately 300,000 km/s. The wavelength of a wave can be calculated by dividing the speed of light by the frequency of the wave. In this case, the frequency is given as 100 megahertz, which is equivalent to 100 million hertz. Dividing the speed of light (300,000 km/s) by the frequency (100 million hertz) gives a wavelength of 3.0 meters. Therefore, the correct answer is 3.0 m.

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  • 31. 

    A skipper on a boat notices wave crests passing the anchor chain every 5 seconds.  The skipper estimates the distance between crests at 15 m.  What is the speed of the water waves?

    • A.

      5 m/s

    • B.

      3 m/s

    • C.

      15 m/s

    • D.

      Not enough information given

    Correct Answer
    B. 3 m/s
    Explanation
    The speed of the water waves can be calculated by dividing the distance between crests (15 m) by the time it takes for a crest to pass (5 seconds). This gives us a speed of 3 m/s.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Feb 07, 2011
    Quiz Created by
    Jmusumeci
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