Shear Wave

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shear wave

[′shir ‚wāv]
A wave that causes an element of an elastic medium to change its shape without changing its volume. Also known as rotational wave.

Shear Wave


a transverse elastic wave in a solid. In a shear wave, the particle motion is perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the wave, and the propagated disturbance is a shearing strain. The phase velocity of a shear wave is equal to Shear Wave where G is the shear modulus of the material and ρ is the density of the material. For most solids, the velocity is between 1.7 × 105 and 3.5 × 105 cm/sec. In anisotropic solids (crystals), shear waves can propagate only in certain directions, and their phase velocity depends on the direction. At hypersonic frequencies of ~109 hertz or higher, shear waves can also exist in a fluid, because fluids exhibit a shear modulus in this frequency range.


Landau, L. D., and E. M. Lifshits. Teoriia uprogosti, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1965. Chapter 3, subsecs. 22 and 23. (Teoreticheskaia fizika, vol. 7.)
Kolsky, H. Volny napriazheniia ν tverdykh lelakh, part 1, Moscow, 1955.
Part 1. Chapter2, subsecs. l–4. (Translated from English.)
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