11 Wave Motion Examples: Detailed Explanations

The deviation of the point or substance from the mean position with its propagation is considered as wave. Wave motion examples in nature.

Light Wave

Now imagine life without light is not possible, and this light is possible because of light waves. So it is the most used example of wave motion.

Particles of light travel perpendicular to the direction of the waves in terms of light waves. And we can see everything is all because of light waves because it is considered under the visible spectrum means it is visible to the human eye. So it is responsible for the sense of sight of humans and animals.

wave motion examples
Light Credit Wikipedia

Ripples in Water Pond

From childhood, we see that whenever we throw a stone-like pebble into the pond, we observe ripples formed on its surface, and we enjoy it a lot.

These created ripples disappear gradually from the surface of the pond. From this activity, we can observe water’s up and down effect so that it can be described as an outwardly moving wave.

Ripples in water Credit Wikipedia

Plucking a Guitar String

We hear that sound is also produced because of wave motion, and the same applies to playing or plucking a guitar string. Means you whenever plunk a string of any guitar, strings move up and down and create a transverse wave.

The string of a guitar produces a transverse wave, but a sound wave is a longitudinal wave. The reason behind that particle in the string move in the direction of the wave propagations.

Earthquake (Seismic S wave)

We feel a vibration in earthquake effect means some waves should be produced when an earthquake occurs. The wave produced by an earthquake is a seismic-S-wave.

In an earthquake, rock particles move up and down perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. These waves require a medium to travel, so S-waves produced by earthquakes require a solid medium to travel.

Tsunami Waves

A tsunami is just the same as the earthquake effect, so tsunamis also have the properties of transverse waves, but they also have the properties of a longitudinal waves.

Whenever an earthquake happens under the water, then the first effect comes towards the surface of the water as a transverse wave, then it is converted into a longitudinal wave and travels to the shore. So Tsunami waves if a full effect on wave motion.

Tsunami Image credit Wikipedia

Application of spring

Spring is an elastic element that is deformed by applying a force and then comes to its original shape when the applied force is removed.

Through this activity, we can observe that it wiggle up and down, so waveform travel along the length of the spring, and wave motion is produced in the spring. And we can see this in every application of spring.


Medical persons also use some techniques of physics. One of the techniques is wave motion, which is used in X-rays by them.

We all are passed from this effect once in a life, at least by observing or using it on ourselves. X-rays are just electromagnetic radiation in which the electric field and magnetic field propagate perpendicular to each other.


You are surprised to know that audience is also an example of wave motion. How? The question is valid, but it is true.

Audience means many people or spectators who come together to attend any match or game in one stadium. And when successive groups of the audience stand up and yell or raise their arms, we can observe a metachronal rhythm. It can be observed like wave motion, known as the stadium wave of Mexican waves.

Electromagnetic Waves

We can say that our whole life is surrounded by the application of electromagnetic waves in every place. So we experience much of it in watching the TVs, listening to the radios, cooking in microwaves, and in hospitals for MRI or X-rays.

These are an example of electromagnetic waves, a combination of electric field and magnetic field, which are perpendicular to each other and produce transverse waves.

Oscillating String or Rope

Nowadays, in daily exercise, we use some rope to up and down to make our body healthy. We do it by fixing one end and moving the other end up and down.

From this type of process, a transverse wave is produced. So it is also one example of wave motion. And also, the same effect is produced by oscillating any string.

Shock absorber

In any automobile, whenever any shocks are produced on a vehicle for any reason, the vibration effect is produced on one piece of equipment, which will absorb the shock, so the shock will not be reached up to the vehicle.

This vibration effect produced in this also looks like one propagate motion, so we can say that Is is one example of wave motion.


There are so many examples on the wave motion in nature. The deviation of the point or substance from the mean position with its propagation is considered as wave.


Deepakkumar Jani

I am Deepak Kumar Jani, Pursuing PhD in Mechanical- Renewable energy. I have five years of teaching and two-year research experience. My subject area of interest are thermal engineering, automobile engineering, Mechanical measurement, Engineering Drawing, Fluid mechanics etc. I have filed a patent on "Hybridization of green energy for power production". I have published 17 research papers and two books. I am glad to be part of Lambdageeks and would like to present some of my expertise in a simplistic way with the readers. Apart from academics and research, I like wandering in nature, capturing nature and creating awareness about nature among people. Let's connect through LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jani-deepak-b0558748/. Also refer my You-tube Channel regarding “Invitation from Nature”

Recent Posts