Enter the wavelength and frequency into the calculator. The calculator will evaluate and display the total wave speed.

Wave Speed Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the speed or velocity of a wave.

V = f * w

  • Where V is the velocity (m/s)
  • f is the frequency (Hz)
  • w is the wavelength (m)

Wave Speed Definition

Wave speed, also known as wave velocity, is a term used in physics to describe the speed at which a wave is propagating. Most often this involves light in some kind of medium, whether it be air or a vacuum.

Wave Speed Example

How to calculate wave speed?

Example #1:

First, determine the frequency of the wave. For this example, the wave frequency is measured to be 50 Hz.

Next, determine the wavelength of the same wave. In this problem, the wavelength is found to be 3 meters.

Finally, we can calculate the wave speed using the formula above. V = f*w = 50*3 = 150 m/s.

Example #2

As done previously, first the frequency of the wave needs to be found. Using a spectrum analyzer, the frequency is determined to be 160 Hz.

Next, the wavelength is measured to be 120 meters.

Finally, using the formula, we find the wave speed to be 160*120 = 19,200 m/s.

Wave Speed Units

The standard SI units for wave speed are meters per second, denoted m/s.

The English system uses feet per second, denoted ft/s, as the units for wave speed.

In both of these cases, the units can be modified to other units such as inches per second and centimeters per second with a simple conversion.

Radio Waves Speed

Radio waves always travel at the speed of light which is approximately 186,000 miles per second. While the frequency and wavelength of the radio waves can change, the speed will not. So a lower frequency radio wave will have a longer wavelength.

FAQ

What is a wave speed?

A wave speed is the velocity at which a wave is propagating through space.

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