wave equation

noun
1.
Mathematics, Physics. any differential equation that describes the propagation of waves or other disturbances in a medium.
2.
Physics. any of the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics whose solutions are possible wave functions of a particle.


Origin:
1925–30

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World English Dictionary
wave equation
 
n
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

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
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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Example sentences
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.
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