Of all of nature’s phenomena, the ones that we are most surrounded by in our daily lives are wave phenomena. Much of the time we are unaware of the waves passing around and through us — such as radio and television waves and sound waves. We perhaps more often notice the waves on bodies of water or the effect of waves in the atmosphere as evidenced by cloud patterns. We surely do not detect the matter waves described by quantum theory, but they nonetheless have a profound effect on our lives. Wave motion is everywhere, and an understanding of wave phenomena is essential to a real understanding of our world. Such phenomena as reflection, transmission, and refraction are part of the rich array of wave motion that we propose to explore in this chapter. We will proceed by first studying waves in a single dimension, then waves in two dimensions, and finally we will treat three-dimensional waves.
KeywordsWave Equation Mechanical System Wave Speed Stress Wave Wave Motion
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