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primary wave

noun
1.
Seismology, P wave.
Origin
1915-1920
1915-20
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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primary-wave in Science
primary wave  
A type of seismic body wave in which rock particles vibrate parallel to the direction of wave travel. Primary waves are alternatingly compressional and extensional, and cause the rocks they pass through to change in volume. These waves are the fastest traveling seismic waves and can travel through solids, liquids, and gases. Also called P wave. See Note at earthquake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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