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Mechanical wave

A wave which needs a medium in order to propagate itself. Sound waves, waves in a Slinky, and water waves are all examples of this. Sound waves need air molecules in order to exist; the Slinky waves need the Slinky, and the waves in the ocean need the water.

It follows, then, that mechanical waves cannot exist in a vacuum. This is the factor that distinguishes them from electromagnetic waves.

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... TCPA / Pallidium FAQ maintained by Professor Ross J Anderson on his Web site at www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/tcpa-faq.html/ for a clear discussion of two prominent proposals. ...

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