Difference between stationary and progressive waves

Both stationary and progressive wave is the one that allows propagation waves are the two categories in which wave is classified. So here this article gives the main key difference between stationary and progressive waves to better understand this topic.

What is a stationary wave?

A stationary wave or standing wave is static. Which remains in between the boundaries of the medium and does not travel. Each particle within the wave has its characteristic vibrations.

What is a progressive wave?

A progressive wave or traveling wave is the one that allows propagation of energy through the medium as the wave continuously travels in one direction where the amplitude is kept constant.

Difference between stationary and progressive wave

  • The energy is confined within the medium, while the transfer of energy from a location to another within the medium takes place.
  • Each particle of the wave exhibits different vibration at the same instant of time in a stationary wave, while in the progressive wave the transfer of energy from a location to another within. The medium takes place.
  • The molecular vibration of stationary wave in each particle of the wave exhibits different vibration at the same instant of time, while in a progressive wave each particle of the wave possesses similar vibration at the different instant of time.
  • The amplitude characteristics of the particle are different in stationary waves, while in progressive wave amplitude characteristics of particles are the same.
  • The velocity at the mean position of the stationary wave, all particles have their own maximum velocity, while in a progressive wave all particles have similar maximum velocity.
  • The motion is not transferable among the particles, while in a progressive wave motion can be easily transferred among the particles.
  • In double the distance present between 2 consecutive nodes or antinodes, In progressive wave the distance between the point of similar phase at a similar time instant.
  • Change in pressure and density is not uniform in the stationary wave ut the change in pressure and density is uniform in progressive waves. 
  • The crests and through of the waveform appear and disappear at the initial position, while in progressive the crests and throughs of the waveform move in the forward direction.
  • Stationary wave is produced by the intersection of opposite waves, progressive waves are formed by any disturbance in the medium.
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