In a purely mathematical approach to the phenomenology of *waves*,
we might choose to start with the WAVE EQUATION,
a differential equation describing the qualitative features of
wave propagation in the same way that *SHM*
is characterized by
.
The advantage of such an approach
is that one gains confidence that any phenomenon that can be
shown to obey the WAVE EQUATION will *automatically*
exhibit *all* the characteristic properties of *wave motion*.
This is a very economical way of looking at things.

Unfortunately, the phenomenology of wave motion
is not very familiar to most beginners -
at least not in the mathematical form we will need here;
so in this instance I will adopt the approach used in most
first year Physics textbooks for almost everything:
I will *start with the answer*
(the simplest *solution* to the WAVE EQUATION)
and explore its *properties*
before proceeding to show that it is indeed a solution of the
WAVE EQUATION - or, for that matter, before explaining
what the WAVE EQUATION *is*.

- Wave Phenomena

- The Wave Equation
- Wavy Strings

- Linear Superposition

- Energy Density
- Water Waves

- Sound Waves
- Spherical Waves
- Electromagnetic Waves

- Reflection
- Refraction
- Huygens' Principle
- Interference

- About this document . . .

Jess H. Brewer - Last modified: Sun Nov 15 14:10:00 PST 2015