Wavelength is the length of a single cycle of a wave, as measured by the distance between one peak of a wave and the next. It is often designated as λ.
The concept can also be applied to periodic waves of non-sinusoidal shape. The term wavelength is also sometimes applied to modulated waves, and to the sinusoidal envelopes of modulated waves or waves formed by interference of several sinusoids.
Assuming a sinusoidal wave moving at a fixed wave speed, wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency: waves with higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths, and lower frequencies have longer wavelengths.
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References[edit | edit source]
- Hecht, Eugene (1987). Optics (2nd ed.). Addison Wesley. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0-201-11609-X.
- Brian Hilton Flowers (2000). "§21.2 Periodic functions". An introduction to numerical methods in C++ (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 473. ISBN 0198506937. http://books.google.com/books?id=weYj75E_t6MC&pg=RA1-PA473.
- Keqian Zhang and Dejie Li (2007). Electromagnetic Theory for Microwaves and Optoelectronics. Springer. p. 533. ISBN 9783540742951. http://books.google.com/books?id=3Da7MvRZTlAC&pg=PA533&dq=wavelength+modulated-wave+envelope.
- Theo Koupelis and Karl F. Kuhn (2007). In Quest of the Universe. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 0763743879. http://books.google.com/books?id=WwKjznJ9Kq0C&pg=PA102&dq=wavelength+lambda+light+sound+frequency+wave+speed.