Here are some links and information for understanding transverse waves and longitudinal waves. These animated pages show the definitions in motion. A brief description of each type of wave follows here, and then some links to further information.
A Sort definition of terms
Transverse wave - A transverse wave is a wave in which the motion of the medium is perpendicular to the motion of the wave.
For example, with a transverse wave:
Water waves are mostly transverse. The water moves up and down while the wave travels over the surface of the water.
Longitudinal wave - A longitudinal wave is a wave in which the motion of the medium is parallel to the motion of the wave.
For example, with a longitudinal wave:
Sound waves are longitudinal. The air vibrates back and forth along the same line that the wave is traveling down.
Definition of a Transverse Wave
Definition of a Longitudinal Wave
Representing a Longitudinal Wave as a Transverse Wave