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wave equation

Mathematics, Physics. any differential equation that describes the propagation of waves or other disturbances in a medium.
Physics. any of the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics whose solutions are possible wave functions of a particle.
1925-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wave equation
  • Mathematically, the wave equation that describes light as an electromagnetic wave would lose its time-dependence.
  • Kernels can be found, for example, by separating solutions of the wave equation in other systems of orthogonal coordinates.
  • After the conformal mapping, the wave equation takes the form: where s is a scale factor.
  • Adaptation of mimetic finite difference discretization to reducing numerical dispersion in wave equation.
British Dictionary definitions for wave equation

wave equation

(physics) a partial differential equation describing wave motion. It has the form ∇²φ = (1/c²) × (∂²φ/∂t²), where ∇² is the Laplace operator, t the time, c the speed of propagation, and φ is a function characterizing the displacement of the wave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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wave equation in Science
wave equation  
  1. A partial differential equation that describes the shape and movement of waves, given a set of boundary conditions (such as the initial shape of the wave, or the evolution of a force affecting the wave).

  2. The fundamental equation of wave mechanics. See also Schrödinger's equation.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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