µ IB | Wave Basics

10 quick questions



10 minutes maximum! (can you do it in 5?)



 1. Which of these waves is NOT an electromagnetic wave?

  • A. radio wave.
  • B. sound wave.
  • C. X-ray
  • D. visible light.

2. Which of these answers correctly identifies longitudinal and transverse waves?

longitudinal Transverse
sound X-ray
visible light X-ray
visible light gamma ray
X-ray visible light


3. An electromagnetic wave of wavelength of approximately 10-2 m is a(n)...

  • A. infra-red wave.
  • B. sound wave.
  • C. microwave.
  • D. visible light wave.

4. Waves can be measured in many ways. Which of these answers correctly identifies the units used to measure the wavelength and period of a wave?

wavelength period
metres Hertz
seconds Hertz
metres seconds
Hertz seconds


5. "The displacement of the medium is parallel to the motion of the wave".

This sentence is describing...

  • A. all travelling waves.
  • B. all longitudinal waves.
  • C. all electromagnetic waves.
  • D. all transverse waves.

6. The period of a wave is 0.5 s and the wave speed 100 ms-1. What is the frequency and wavelength of this wave?

  • A. f = 2 Hz, λ = 50 m.
  • B. f = 5 Hz, λ = 50 m.
  • C. f = 2 Hz, λ = 20 m.
  • D. f = 5 Hz, λ = 20 m.

7. The graph below shows the displacement of a point on a long spring as a wave passes along it.


Which of the 3 statements shown on the right are correct?

  • A. I only
  • B. I and II.
  • C. III only
  • D. none of them.
  • I. The wave must be a transverse wave.
  • II The period is 2 s.
  • III. The frequency of the wave is 0.5 Hz.


8. A plastic ball is floating on the sea as a wave goes past. At T=0, the ball is at the top of a wave. Which of the following waves best shows a displacement-time graph of the subsequent motion of the ball?


9&10. The diagram below shows two light rays traveling left to right.



9. These rays are described as being out of      .

10. By how much is the second ray 'out'?

  • A. 0 radians
  • B. ¼π radians
  • C. ½π radians
  • D. π radians