What is amplitude?

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Amplitude refers to the energy possessed by different waves. Higher levels of amplitude simply correspond to higher energy levels that are present on a particular wave. When measuring amplitude, the distance is taken between the wave’s static location and the farthest point reached by the particles involved. The farther these particles are away from the static point, the higher will be the amount of energy in the way and therefore the higher amplitude.

The concept of amplitude is often associated with sound waves. Changes in the sound waves are measured in terms of positive amplitude or negative amplitude. Positive readings simply refer to high amplitude or increase in the energy possessed by sound waves. Negative amplitude meanwhile pertains to a decrease in energy and therefore there is also a decrease in sound. High amplitude sound also results to high atmospheric pressure. The higher the force or energy, the louder will the sound become and the greater will also be the increase in atmospheric pressure. In the case of a trumpet for example, the force is provided by blowing it with air. The more force is exerted while blowing the trumpet, higher amplitude of sound waves may also be generated. More force in blowing simply results to a louder sound of the trumpet. This sound is a type of energy in the form of amplitude.

Aside from sound waves, the concept of amplitude may also be applied to other waves. In the case of water elements like lakes and ponds for example, energy or amplitude may also be generated on them when a type of force is introduced. Throwing a rock at the center of the lake for example will create ripples of water waves depending on the force given and the size of the rock. As the rock hits the calm center of the lake, part of the water will also rise upon impact. This change in the position of water particles may be measured to get the energy generated or the amplitude in the water.

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