The Big Idea
Objects in motion that return to the same position after a fixed period of time are said to be in harmonic motion. Objects in harmonic motion have the ability to transfer some of their energy over large distances. They do so by creating waves in a medium. Imagine pushing up and down on the surface of a bathtub filled with water. Water acts as the medium that carries energy from your hand to the edges of the bathtub. Waves transfer energy over a distance without direct contact with the initial source. Since waves are disturbances in an existing medium, they are considered phenomena and not actual objects.