In physics, a wave is a disturbance that transfers energy through matter or space, with little or no associated mass transport. Waves consist, instead, of oscillations or vibrations of a physical medium or a field, around relatively fixed locations. There are two main types of waves: mechanical and electromagnetic. Mechanical waves propagate through a physical matter, whose substance is being deformed. Restoring forces then reverse the deformation. For example, sound waves propagate via air molecules colliding with their neighbors. When the molecules collide, they also bounce away from each other (a restoring force). This keeps the molecules from continuing to travel in the direction of the wave. Electromagnetic waves do not require a medium. Instead, they consist of periodic oscillations of electrical and magnetic fields originally generated by charged particles, and can therefore travel through a vacuum.
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