A wave in mathematics is used to model problems that deal with cycles such as the orbit of planets around the sun. A wave is characterized by its wave length (frequency) and amplitude (intensity).

Symbol | Usage |
---|---|

The variable represents the amplitude of the wave form. | |

The variable (lambda) represents the period of the wave. The period is also referred to as the wave length or frequency of the wave. |

There are a number of different wave forms used throughout mathematics and in applications like synth music and music editing software.

Wave | Waveform |
---|---|

Sinusoidal | |

Square | |

Triangular | |

Sawtooth |

The sinsusoidal wave form is a classic reprsentation of a wave in both math and physics. It uses one of the two trigonometric functions cosine or sine for its shape.

The cosine function returns the cosine of an angle provided in radians. In geometric terms, the function returns the ratio of the right triangle's adjacent side over its hypotenuse.

The sine function returns the sine of a number provided in radians. In geometric terms, the function returns the vertical component of the point formed by the angle on the unit circle.