Which Equipment Is Most Useful When Measuring Waves in Water & Waves in Air?

Written by tatyana ivanov
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Which Equipment Is Most Useful When Measuring Waves in Water & Waves in Air?
The frequency of sound waves travelling through air is measured using a sound level meter (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Many different types of measurements can be taken for both water and air waves. Both types of waves have peaks and valleys which can be measured by wave height, wavelength, speed and frequency. Additionally, certain measurements can be calculated by measuring one aspect of the wave. The most useful equipment for measuring both water and air waves depends on what type of measurement you are trying to attain.

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About Water Waves Measurement

Water wave values can be measured by speed, frequency, wavelength and wave height. Speed is defined as the rate at which the wave is flowing and is determined by wind and other elements, while frequency and wavelength are related to the distance between two waves. The measurements for speed, frequency and wavelength are related to each other, so one measurement can be calculated from an initial measurement using mathematical formulas. Additionally, wave height is frequently calculated as the distance between the surface of the water and the top of the wave crest.

Water Wave Equipment

Since there are different ways to measure water waves, different equipment is required for these measurements. The most useful equipment for measuring the frequency of waves is a simple stopwatch. The measurement is taken from the crest of one wave to the next one. This number is then plugged into a formula that determines the value for the speed of the wave and its wavelength. Wave height is more difficult to determine. Generally, useful instruments for measuring wave height include sensors mounted to poles that can measure the crest of the wave from the surface.

About Air Wave Measurement

Waves that travel through the air come from a variety of different sources, including sound, electromagnetic waves and electricity. Each of these types of waves that travel through the air is measured in different ways, though most are measured for frequency, wavelength and velocity. The frequency of sound waves travelling through air can also determine the pitch and loudness of the sound. Electromagnetic waves are also measured in frequency and can determine the colour and visibility of the light they are projecting.

Air Wave Measurement Equipment

Each type of wave and wave measurement frequently requires different equipment to attain an accurate reading. For instance, a cymometer is a device that is used to measure the frequency of electrical waves. A rioter is the most useful instrument for measuring radio waves in the air. Light and electromagnetic waves in the air can be measured using a variety of different equipment, including a qualimeter, which measures X-ray waves in the air. Sound waves are frequently measured using sound wave meters that determine the wavelength and frequency of sound waves based on their pitch.

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