Waves Facts For Kids: Meaning, Types, And Formation Explained | Kidadl


Waves Facts For Kids: Meaning, Types, And Formation Explained

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

When you go to the beach, you almost can't stop yourself from building a sandcastle, digging holes or creating something artistic from the sand.

You build your work of art on the beach carefully, considerably away from the ocean. After all, you don't want a surface wave to ruin your work of art.

The ocean can never be still. You always expect and see some sort of movement whenever and from wherever you look at the ocean. They're fascinating to watch and many people find it relaxing to sit and view the sea.

Continue reading to learn more about waves and how they are formed!

Meaning Of Waves For Kids

Waves are a mysterious phenomenon; they are a form of disturbance that moves through time and space.

To put it simply, a wave is when you see the water move in a direction. Anything can cause a wave because waves are always present in nature. The simplest form of a wave is when gravity pulls down on the surface of the water. Other examples include sound and earthquake waves.

Many kinds of waves exist, including mechanical waves and electromagnetic radiation. Fortunately for humans, most types of waves don't normally affect us at all.

Types Of Waves

Waves may be classified into several types based on their features, namely mechanical waves, electromagnetic waves, transverse waves, and longitudinal waves.

Mechanical waves are those that require a medium to travel through. This implies that mechanical waves must pass through some type of form. When molecules in the medium collide and exchange energy, these waves travel. For instance, water waves, seismic waves, and waves traveling through a spring.

Electromagnetic waves are waves that may flow through empty space. Electromagnetic waves don't require a medium or materials. They move via electrical and magnetic fields produced by charged particles. For example, x-rays, radio waves, and light.

Transverse waves are those in which the disturbance moves perpendicular to the wave's direction. Consider the wave flowing from left to right, while the disturbance goes up and down. For instance, an oscillating string and a wave in the ocean-going up and down.

Longitudinal waves are those that have a disturbance that travels in the same direction as the wave. For example, a sound wave or a wave in a spring.

In the ocean, the wave breaks only when it enters the realm of shallow waters.

Characteristics Of Waves

A wave is a disturbance that transfers energy from one place to another. Energy in waves can be transferred by compression or through the process of radiation. A wave has three characteristics: frequency, amplitude, speed, and wavelength.

The amplitude of a wave is the distance it travels from its rest point. It is commonly determined by inspecting a wave graph and determining the height of the wave from its resting point. It's a measure of how powerful or violent a wave is.

The length of a wave is the distance between two matching locations on two successive cycles of a wave. The distance between two wave crests or troughs can be used to calculate this.

The frequency of a wave is the number of instances per second that the wave cycles. It's measured in cycles per second or Hertz. The lower case 'f' is commonly used to indicate frequency. The time amongst wave crests is called the wave period.

The duration is expressed in time units such as seconds. A period is often represented by an upper case 'T'. The concepts of period and frequency are intricately related. The frequency equals one over the period, and the period equals one over the period. They are the polar opposites of one another.

The speed of mechanical waves is determined by the substance through which they go through. The letter 'V' is commonly used to describe the velocity of a wave. The velocity may be calculated by multiplying the frequency by the wavelength.

Formation Of Waves

Waves are formed by wind speed, the distance of open water that the wind has blown over, and the length of time the wind has blown over a given area.

Wind sweeps over the surface of the ocean, pushing the water below, giving rise to wind waves or surface waves. Water suffers a counter-movement as a result of surface tension, rising higher than its initial level. This increases the amount of surface area on which the wind may blow, reinforcing the process as a whole. Wind energy is transmitted to the water, which causes the waves to move.

There is no water moving as the waves travel in a surge towards the coast. The only thing that moves from one water molecule to the next is energy. Because each and every molecule under the wave moves in a circular motion. This is known as orbital motion. As the wave travels deeper, the orbits become smaller and smaller. The wave slows down until they completely disappear.

Waves travel quickly in deep water. However, as the waves go deeper into the ocean, the orbits strike the bottom and slow down. The energy is now being released towards the surface, as seen by the rising waves. While the molecules at the bottom are slowed, the molecules at the top continue to move at the same rate in their orbital motion. The wave will eventually break as a result of this.


Q. What are the three causes of waves?

A. Wind speed, wind duration, and wind distance all have an impact on waves.

Q. Why does the ocean have waves?

A. The wind is the most prevalent source of waves. Waves are caused by the friction between wind and surface water. The sun's and moon's gravitational pull also generates waves.

Q. What do waves carry?

A. Waves transport energy from one location to another.

Q. How do waves travel?

A. The waves travel in a transverse direction. The up and down movements are at 90° to the direction of travel.

Q. How do waves move?

A. Waves move in a circular motion as energy passes through water.

Q. How fast do waves travel in the ocean?

A. Seismic sea waves last roughly 20 minutes and reach speeds of 470 mph (756.3 kph). Wind waves, or surface waves, last roughly 20 seconds. Gravity, wavelength, and water depth all influence the speed of all ocean waves.

Written By
Bhavya Gupta

<p>With a degree in Economics from Sri Venkateswara College, affiliated with the University of Delhi, Bhavya is a proficient content writer who specializes in crafting content for companies operating in the marketing, growth, online media, and non-profit organization management industries. Drawing on her expertise, Bhavya is capable of crafting content that is both informative and engaging, helping businesses to connect with their target audience and drive growth.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?