Wave velocity

The velocity, or speed, of a wave can be calculated using the equation:

wave speed = frequency × wavelength

This is when:

  • wave speed is measured in metres per second (m/s)
  • frequency is measured in hertz (Hz)
  • wavelength is measured in metres (m)

Example

What is the velocity, or speed, of a wave that has a frequency of 50 Hz and a wavelength of 6 m?

wave speed = frequency × wavelength

wave speed = 50 × 6

wave speed = 300 m/s

Question

What is the velocity, or speed, of a wave with a frequency of 0.2 Hz and a wavelength of 25 m?

wave speed = frequency × wavelength

wave speed = 0.2 × 25

wave speed = 5 m/s