Difference between sound waves and light waves

Sound Waves:

  • Sound waves are mechanical waves in nature.
  • They need a medium to propagate and so cannot be produced in a vacuum.
  • They can move in all types of mediums as solid liquid or gas whether they are transparent or not.
  • They propagate in the form of longitudinal waves.
  • The particle of the medium vibrates along the direction of the propagation and so contraction and rarefaction are formed there.
  • These are three-dimensional waves.
  • These waves do not show a polarization effect.
  • For a normal human being the audible frequency range is $20$ to $20000 Hertz$.
  • The speed of the sound waves is more in a dense medium than in a rare medium.

  • Light waves:

  • light waves are electromagnetic waves in nature.
  • They don't need any medium and so can produce and propagate in a vacuum.
  • Their velocity in a vacuum is the maximum of value $3 \times 10^{8} m/s$
  • They can move in a transparent medium only.
  • They propagate in the form of transverse waves.
  • The electric field and magnetic field vibration are perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation.
  • These wave waves are also three-dimensional waves.
  • These waves source the polarization effect.
  • For a normal human being the visible frequency range is $4 \times 10^{18} Hz$ to $8 \times 10^{14} Hz$.
  • The speed of light is more in rare mediums than in dense ones.
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