Wave Period Formula
The following is the wave period formula:
T = 1/ f
- Where T is the wave period (seconds)
- f is the frequency (Hz)
The wave period can also be calculated using the wavelength and velocity using the formula:
T = WL / V
- Where WL is the wavelength
- V is the wave speed.
Wave Period Definition
A wave period is defined as the total time it takes for a wave to propagate one cycle or one wavelength. A wave period should not be confused with a wavelength or a frequency. A wavelength is the distance of one propagation and a frequency is the inverse of the period.
How to calculate a wave period?
- First, determine the information available to you. You should be provided either the frequency or both the wavelength and the wave speed.
- Next, determine the formula you should use. For this example, we will say that frequency was provided and it is equal to 50hz.
- Finally, calculate the wave period using the formula above. Using the formula we find the wave period to be 1/50z = .020 seconds.
Wave period and wavelength are related, but not the same. The wave period can be calculated using the wavelength and the wave speed.
Wave periods and frequencies are the inverses of each other. To convert between the two you must divide one by the value.
Waves are typically considered periodic motion when analyzing waves of things like photons and radio waves. Waves of water are not.
Looking at the equation above for calculating the wave period, it can be seen that a wave period would change with a change in wavelength or wave speed. For example, light waves would change in wave speed when moving through a different mediums.