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the distance, measured in the direction of propagation, between two points of the same phase in consecutive cycles of a wave.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


The distance between two points on a wave which have the same value and the same rate of change of the value of a parameter, for example, electric intensity, characterizing the wave. The wavelength, usually designated by the Greek letter λ, is equal to the speed of propagation c of the wave divided by the frequency of vibration f; that is, λ = c/f (see illustration). See Wave (physics), Wave motion

Wavelength λ and related quantitiesenlarge picture
Wavelength λ and related quantities
McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


(wayv -length) Symbol: λ. The distance over which a periodic wave motion goes through one complete cycle of oscillation, i.e. the distance traveled during one period. Thus for a sinusoidal wave motion, such as electromagnetic radiation, it is the distance between two successive peaks or troughs. For electromagnetic radiation, wavelength is related to frequency, ν, by νλ = c , where c is the speed of light. Wavelength is measured in meters or in multiples or submultiples of meters; for example, the wavelength of light is usually given in nanometers while that of infrared radiation is usually quoted in micrometers.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006


The distance between two points having the same phase in two consecutive cycles of a periodic wave, along a line in the direction of propagation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


For light waves or sound waves, the distance between two successive points of a periodic wave in the direction of propagation, in which the oscillation has the same phase; the distance the wave travels in one period. For light waves three common units of wavelength are: micrometer, nanometer, and angstrom.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The distance between crests of a wave. The wavelength determines the nature of the various forms of radiant energy that comprise the electromagnetic spectrum. For electromagnetic waves, the wavelength in meters is computed by the speed of light divided by frequency (300,000,000/Hz). For sound waves, the wavelength is determined by 335/Hz. See optical bands.

Length of a Wave
The wavelength is the distance between crests. The higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength.

Cellular/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/Cordless PhonesFrequency        WavelengthBand                     Inches         Millimeters  (approximate)

   600 MHz     500         20"

   1.8 GHz     167         6 1/2"

   2.4 GHz     125         5"
   5   GHz      60         2 1/2"

  High 5G Bands
  24   GHz      12.5       1/2"
  27.5 GHz      11         7/16"
  37   GHz       8         5/16"
  47   GHz       6.3       1/4"
  64   GHz       4.7       3/16"
  71   GHz       4.2       1/8"

Visible Light in Nanometers
The wavelengths of light visible by humans is approximately from 400 to 750 nm.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The mesh used for the simulations was a brick mesh with cuboid shaped elements, and the number of Lagrangian elements per wavelenght was kept between six to ten in order to obtain the desired precision.
Effect of light irradiance and wavelenght on the Syrian hamster reproductive system.
Eventually a limit of 0.25 of the dielectric wavelenght must be placed on the ground plane spacing, limiting the bandwidth at the highest frequencies.
11 A Smith chart showing quarter wavelenght transformation to achieve a wideband match.
The diameter of the area that is almost coherently illuminated is =6.2 [micron]m, 9.4[micron]m, 20.1[micron]m, 40.8[micron]m and 115[micron]m for figures A, B, C, D and E for pinhole diameters dp = 30[micron]m, 20[micron]m, 10[micron]m, 5[micron]m and 2 [micron]m, in that order; the mean wavelenght is =450 nm.
The absorbance of resultant colour was recorded at 500 nm wavelenght. A standard curve of absorbance at 500 nm to glucose concentration was used to calculate the specific enzyme activity which was expressed as milligram glucose equivalent released per minute per gram fresh weight of leaf tissue [36].