1-8Figure 1-7.—Comparison of waves with different amplitudes.CycleRefer to wave 1 in figure 1-7. Notice how similar it is to the sine wave you have already studied. Alltransverse waves appear as sine waves when viewed from the side. In figure 1-7, wave 1 has fourcomplete cycles. Points ABCDE comprise one complete cycle having a maximum value above and amaximum value below the reference line. The portion above the reference line (between points A and C)is called a POSITIVE ALTERNATION and the portion below the reference line (between points C andE) is known as a NEGATIVE ALTERNATION. The combination of one complete positive and onecomplete negative alternation represents one cycle of the wave. At point E, the wave begins to repeatitself with a second cycle completed at point I, a third at point M, etc. The peak of the positive alternation(maximum value above the line) is sometimes referred to as the TOP or CREST, and the peak of thenegative alternation (maximum value below the line) is sometimes called the BOTTOM or TROUGH, asdepicted in the figure. Therefore, one cycle has one crest and one trough.WavelengthA WAVELENGTH is the distance in space occupied by one cycle of a radio wave at any giveninstant. If the wave could be frozen in place and measured, the wavelength would be the distance from theleading edge of one cycle to the corresponding point on the next cycle. Wavelengths vary from a fewhundredths of an inch at extremely high frequencies to many miles at extremely low frequencies;however, common practice is to express wavelengths in meters. Therefore, in figure 1-7 (wave 1), theGLVWDQFH EHWZHHQ $ DQG ( RU % DQG ) HWF LV RQH ZDYHOHQJWK 7KH *UHHN OHWWHU ODPEGD LV XVHG WRsignify wavelength. Why lambda and not "l" or "L"? This is because "L" is used conventionally as the

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