Before entering fully into the clarification of the meaning of the term wave amplitude, it is interesting that we proceed to determine the etymological origin of the two main words that shape it:
-Amplitude, first of all, derives from Latin. Specifically, it comes from “amplitudo”, which can be translated as “extensive quality”. In the same way, it should be noted that this term is the result of the sum of two components: the adjective “amplus”, which is synonymous with “extensive” or “wide”, and the suffix “-tud”, which is used to indicate quality.
-Onda, on the other hand, is a word that comes from the Latin, exactly from “unda”, which is equivalent to “wave”.
The notion of spaciousness can be used to name the lengthening, stretching, or widening of something. It is called wave, moreover, to the movement propagation takes a fluid to the elevations formed by the disturbance of the surface of a liquid substance and the manner of propagation having electric and magnetic fields in space.
The concept of wave amplitude appears in the field of physics and is linked to the highest value that a variable registers, measured from the midpoint or equilibrium. In an electromagnetic signal or wave motion, the wave amplitude is the distance between the maximum value (the highest point of the wave) and the equilibrium point.
The wave amplitude can be seen on a graph with a sinusoidal curve in the Cartesian coordinates. If we take the X axis as the midpoint, the wave amplitude will be given by the space that exists between the highest point on the Y axis that touches the sinusoid and the mentioned X axis.
A physical disturbance, in this way, can be plotted on a model as a magnitude whose value changes over time. Wave amplitude is noted when analyzing the values according to the points occupied by the disturbance (graphed as a wave) in space.
In the case of sound waves, the wave amplitude reveals the distance between the wave peak (the highest value) and its base, measured in decibels. As the wave amplitude increases, the decibels increase, reflecting a growth in the intensity (volume) of the sound.
There is another important series of aspects that must be known about the mentioned wave amplitude. Specifically, we can emphasize that the units to measure it will vary depending on the type of wave to which we are referring:
-When it is a mechanical class wave, we will resort to the use of what are the units of length to measure it.
-In the case that you are working with an electromagnetic wave, what you will do to measure the amplitude will be to use a unit that responds to the name of candles.
-If, on the other hand, we are referring to alternating current waves, we will resort to using amps and volts in their measurement.
-When we are dealing with sound waves, what will be done is to choose to opt for what are units such as the millibar, the pascal or the set of remaining units.