The wavelength symbol is the lowercase letter from the Greek language. Hence the Greek symbol for wavelength is “lambda” (λ), which is a standard symbol that represents it in wavelength equations in physics and mathematics.
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What is Wavelength?
The definition for the wavelength can be written as a distance between two similar points of two consecutive waves. The corresponding or the similar points in a wave means that the two points or particles have completed their one periodic motion or a similar fraction; this motion is referred to as a phase.
The two types of waves are:
- Longitudinal waves – these waves oscillate at a right angle to the direction of their initiation. For such waves, the wavelength calculation is from one crest to another or from trough to trough
- Transverse waves – these waves oscillate with points vibrating in the same direction as their initial point. For such waves, the wavelength calculation is from one compression to another or from rarefaction to rarefaction.
The waves have high and low points and these points are termed as crest and trough respectively. The shape of a wave creates a sine curve which describes the simple harmonic motion
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Symbol For Wavelength 2023
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What Does The Greek Symbol For Wavelength Mean?
Above we discussed the wavelength symbol name and what does lambda equal to, but what does the symbol mean? In the uppercase, Lambda is written as Λ while in lower case the symbol for wavelength is λ. It is a letter of the Greek alphabet that represents that “I” sound in Ancient and Modern Greek. And has a value of the number 30 in the system of Greek numerals.
Types of Waves
- Sound wave: It is the kind of disturbance caused by the motion of energy traveling through any medium either liquid or solid, such as air, water, as it disseminates away from the source of the sound.
- Water wave: Such waves are an example of a wave that consists of a combination of longitudinal and transverse motions.
- Electromagnetic wave: This type of wave is created due to vibrations between an electric field and a magnetic field.
Is There A Formula For Wavelength?
For the calculation of wavelength, the sinusoidal waves are the most accurate type as compared to others because they have a smooth and repetitive oscillation. The lambda symbol in physics indicates the relationship between wavelength and frequency.
This tells us that if two waves move at a similar speed, the wave having a greater frequency will have a shorter wavelength. Likewise, if the other wave has a longer wavelength it will have a lower frequency, considering the fact that waves are moving at a similar pace. Following is the formula to determine wavelength:
λ = v / ƒ
Λ = wavelength symbol
V = velocity symbol
ƒ= frequency symbol
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Relationship Between Wavelength and Frequency
The wavelength frequency relationship is closely related: If the wavelength of an object is altered then it will have a higher frequency and vice versa. The energy of a wave correlates directly to its frequency but is inversely proportional to its wavelength. It means if an object has greater energy it will have a larger frequency and shorter wavelength. This relationship proves that short wavelengths are more strong than long wavelengths.
Electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of 299,792 kilometers per second (kps). In the electromagnetic spectrum, there are plenty of waves each having multiple dissimilar frequencies and wavelengths. All of these terms are related by one equation which we discussed above.
What is the Unit of Wavelength?
According to the definition we mentioned above, it is clear that the symbol for wavelength is “lambda (λ)” and so is its name. Since the wavelength is a type of length, the S.I unit of wavelength will be the same as any other length. Moreover, it is understood that the S.I unit of length is a meter so the SI unit of wavelength is also meter after all.
The type of wave determines what unit will be used. Wavelength units can be meters, centimeters, or nanometers (1 m = 109 nm), picometers (pm), and femtometers (fm). The latter helps in measuring shorter wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum, for example, X-rays, UV rays, gamma rays, etc. Contrarily, radio waves have longer wavelengths that can range anywhere between 1 mm and 100 km, depending on the frequency.
The second symbol in the formula is the frequency which is also represented by another Greek letter nu (ν). In other words, frequency is the total number of waves passing through a specific point in a certain amount of time. And if you want to calculate the wavelength of the wave, you need to have information regarding the frequency which can either be in cycles per second or waves per second. Hertz (Hz) is the unit for one wave passing in one second.The SI unit of frequency is a reciprocal second (s−1).