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Explain Why (Or How) Solids Can Support Both Longitudinal and Transverse Waves, but Only Longitudinal Waves Can Propagate in Gases - Physics

Explain why (or how) Solids can support both longitudinal and transverse waves, but only longitudinal waves can propagate in gases

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Solution 1

Solids have shear modulus. They can sustain shearing stress. Since fluids do not have any definite shape, they yield to shearing stress. The propagation of a transverse wave is such that it produces shearing stress in a medium. The propagation of such a wave is possible only in solids, and not in gases.

Both solids and fluids have their respective bulk moduli. They can sustain compressive stress. Hence, longitudinal waves can propagate through solids and fluids.

Solution 2

This is due to the fact that gases have only the bulk modulus of elasticity whereas solids have both, the shear modulus as well as the bulk modulus of elasticity.

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NCERT Class 11 Physics Textbook
Chapter 15 Waves
Q 19.4 | Page 389
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