compressional wave


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Related to compressional wave: Shear wave

compressional wave

[kəm′presh·ən·əl ‚wāv]
(physics)
A disturbance traveling in an elastic medium; characterized by changes in volume and by particle motion parallel with the direction of wave movement. Also known as dilatational wave; irrotational wave; pressure wave; P wave.
References in periodicals archive ?
However, because it is possible to convert energy from P to S (and vice versa) at a liquid-solid boundary, shear waves remain important in ocean seismology even when man-made sound sources, which are frequently located within the water column, generate only compressional wave energy.
Table 3 shows compressional wave velocities at different water saturations for the N3 sample.
An early alert system works by detecting an earthquake's compressional waves - fast-moving, high-frequency waves that are imperceptible to humans.