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Wavelength is the distance between two consecutive and equivalent points on a wave. Wavelength can be quantified by measuring the distance between two equivalent and consecutive points, such as the distance between two peaks or two troughs. The scientific symbol for wavelength is a Greek letter called lambda.

Watch the animation to see examples of wavelength.

Natural waves come in many different wavelengths, covering a vast range relative to human senses of scale. Gamma rays which are a form of electromagnetic radiation have wavelengths as short as one trillionth of a meter. Tsunami waves can have wavelengths greater than 100 miles (161 km).

Get a feel for wavelength by playing with our wave generator.


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