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Questions and Answers

Are Sound Waves and Light Waves the Same?

Sound and electromagnetic waves, such as light, are very different types of waves. They aren’t just waving at different frequencies. In fact, some electromagnetic waves are waving at the same frequencies as audible sound waves.

Sound waves are physical waves and require a physical 3D medium like air or water for the waves to move through. On the other hand, light is a nonphysical wave. It does not need a physical medium to move through. Light and other electromagnetic waves can propagate through the vacuum of empty space. Sound interacts with atoms and bigger objects. Light interacts with electrons and other quantum particles. Sound shakes physical things. Light shakes the nonphysical electromagnetic field.

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