What determines the velocity of a wave?

The velocity of a wave depends upon the material or medium in which it is traveling. Typically, the stronger the coupling between the atoms or molecules that make up the medium, and the less massive they are, the faster the wave will travel. All waves of the same type (transverse or longitudinal) travel at the same speed. For example, a sound wave in air at 0°C will travel at 331 meters per second, regardless of the sound’s frequency or amplitude. Electromagnetic waves can travel either through empty space or through material. Their velocity depends on the electric and magnetic properties of space or the material but not on frequency or amplitude. The velocity of water waves depend both on the properties of the water and on the frequency of the wave.


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