Sine Wave vs Square Wave
Waves are a very important phenomenon that is discussed in physics. Sine waves and square waves are two types of waves that are very important in a number of fields. Sine waves are important in fields such as electromagnetics, waves and vibrations, signal modulation and several other fields. The square wave is very important in computers and other digital devices, data representation, data communications and many other fields. In this article, we are going to discuss what sine waves and square waves are, how they are originated, the definitions of sine waves and square waves, their similarities and finally the difference between sine waves and square waves.
In order to understand the concept of the sine wave, one must first understand the concept of the mechanical wave. A mechanical wave is caused by any turbulence in a medium. Simple examples for mechanical waves are sound, earthquakes, ocean waves.
A wave is a method of energy propagation. The energy created in the turbulence is propagated by the waves. A sinusoidal wave, simply known as a sine wave, is a wave which oscillates according to the equation y = A sin (ωt – kx). This means a snapshot of the particles affected by the wave at a given time will display the “sine” function behavior.
As the wave propagates through the space, the energy it carries is also propagated. This energy causes the particles on the way to oscillate. It can also be interpreted the other way around as, the energy is propagated through the oscillation of particles. There are two types of progressive waves. Namely, longitudinal waves and transverse waves.
In a longitudinal wave, the oscillations of particles are parallel to the direction of propagation. This does not mean the particles are moving with the wave. The particles only oscillate about fixed equilibrium point in space. In transverse waves, the oscillation of particles occur perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Sound waves consist of only longitudinal waves, waves on a string is transverse. The ocean waves are a combination of transverse waves and longitudinal waves.
Square waves are very important in computers and other digital devices. A square wave can be considered as a logic function. Since the square wave has only two states, it is ideal for a digital function. However, it is very difficult or impossible to create a square wave directly. A series of sine waves are overlapped to create a square wave. This is known as Fourier transformation. However, it is impossible to create a perfect square wave as it requires an infinite amount of sine waves.
What is the difference between Sine and Square Waves?
• Sine waves are generated in nature and can be easily reproduced manually. Square waves are not produced naturally, and it requires a set of sine waves to be overlapped.
• It is possible to make a perfect sine wave, but it is impossible to create a perfect square wave.