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The nice benefit of a wave is that it is an excellent repeating experience

The nice benefit of a wave is that it is an excellent repeating experience

Whether it is the up-and-down motion of a water wave or the changing electric and magnetic fields in a wave of light, the pattern of disturbance repeats in a cyclical way. Thus, any wave motion can be characterized by a series of crests and troughs (Figure \(\PageWendex<3>\)). Moving from one crest through a trough to the next crest completes one cycle. The horizontal length covered by one cycle is called the wavelength.