# Why do waves need a medium to travel?

## Why do waves need a medium to travel?

Mechanical waves require a medium in order to transport their energy from one location to another. A sound wave is an example of a mechanical wave. Sound waves are incapable of traveling through a vacuum.

What is a medium and why do waves travel through them?

A medium is a substance or material that can carry a wave. The wave medium is not the wave and it does not make the wave; it merely carries or transports the wave from its source to other locations. The particles in a medium become disturbed and pass on this disturbance.

### What do waves carry through a medium?

energy
Light, heat, radio, and similar types of energy are carried by a variety of waves in the ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM. Some energy waves need a medium, such as water or air, through which to travel. The medium moves back and forth as waves carry energy through it, but it does not actually travel along with the wave.

Which are examples of a medium in waves?

A medium is the substance through which a wave can propagate. Water is the medium of ocean waves. Air is the medium through which we hear sound waves. The electric and magnetic fields are the medium of light.

## What kind of waves require a medium through which to travel?

Waves that require a medium through which to travel are called electromagnetic waves. In transverse waves, the particles of the medium move at right angles to the direction in which the wave is traveling. The unit associated with amplitude is the hertz.

What wave can travel through space without a medium?

Electromagnetic waves are waves that can travel through a vacuum (empty space). They don’t need a medium or matter. They travel through electrical and magnetic fields that are generated by charged particles. Examples of electromagnetic waves include light, microwaves, radio waves, and X-rays.

### What is a wave that does not travel through a medium?

Sound waves cannot travel in the vacuum of space because there is no medium to transmit these mechanical waves. Classical waves transfer energy without transporting matter through the medium.

Why can a wave travel through a medium?

A wave travels through a medium because the wave’s energy essentially passes from particle to particle. This is especially true of mechanical waves, which require a medium in order to propagate.