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A simple wave model has a repeating pattern with specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude and mechanical waves need a medium through which they are transmitted. This model can explain many phenomena which include light and sound.
Forces that act a distance (gravitational, electric, and magnetic) can be explained by force fields that extend through space and can be mapped by their effect on a test object.
The fact that matter is composed of atoms and molecules can be used to explain the properties of substances, diversity of materials, states of matter and phases changes.
Reacting substances rearrange to form different molecules, but the number of atoms is conserved. Some reactions release energy and others absorb energy.
A wave model of light is useful to explain how light interacts with objects through a variety of properties.