Physics Lens

Longitudinal and Transverse Waves

I modified Tom Walsh’s original GeoGebra app to add a moveable single oscillating particle for students to observe its movement along a longitudinal wave and a transverse wave.

The app can also be used to show how the displacement of a particle in a longitudinal wave can be mapped onto a sinusoidal function, similar to the shape of a transverse wave. For example. a displacement of the particle to the right can be represented by a positive displacement value on the displacement-distance graph.

You can choose to select the particle that you want to focus on by using the slider.

For a full screen view, visit

Here is an animated gif for those who prefer to insert it into a powerpoint slideshow instead:

Animation of longitudinal wave and transverse wave

For embedding into SLS or any platform that supports iframes.

<iframe scrolling="no" title="Progressive Waves" src="" width="640px" height="480px" style="border:0px;"> </iframe>

Leave a Reply