Difference Between Pulse and Wave

Both pulses and waves are things that occur very often in nature. The origin of waves is in vibrations, where a sudden change in the energy of a system or an object is the result of an immediate change in the energy of the surroundings. This energy is dissipated through the medium in order to achieve equilibrium through a repetitive process, which is known as oscillation, and the oscillations lead to waves. Difference Between Pulse and Wave

PULSE    Difference Between Pulse and Wave

In physics, a sudden variation in an amount that is usually constant is known as a pulse. This term refers to a change in position in a medium, seen and described as amplitude, due to vibration. A series of such sudden variations is also known as a pulse.


It is a periodic disturbance in a medium or space. Waves are the main method of energy transfer in nature and the disturbances produced by waves can be both regular and irregular. Every time excess energy is released from a system or object, it is transported through waves, and when they transport that energy from one point to another, then it is called a traveling wave.

Waves can also be classified into mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves. The mechanical ones propagate through the oscillation of the potential and kinetic energy of the particles of the medium. While the electromagnetic ones propagate through the alternating oscillations of electric and magnetic fields.

Main differences between wave and pulse:

  • The pulse has a sharp rise and a sharp decrease in amplitude.
  • A wave can come to be considered as a series of pulses.
  • A single sudden change in a medium is known as a pulse, while the waves repeat themselves with oscillating changes.

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