plane wave

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plane wave

[′plān ‚wāv]
Wave in which the wavefront is a plane surface; a wave whose equiphase surfaces form a family of parallel planes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Plane Wave


a wave in which at every moment the displacements and velocities of the particles in a medium (for mechanical waves) or the strengths of the electric and magnetic fields (for electromagnetic waves) are the same at all points lying in any plane perpendicular to the direction of the wave’s propagation.

Strictly speaking, real plane waves do not exist, since a plane wave that propagates along the x-axis must span the entire region of space with y- and z-coordinates from — ∞ to + ∞. In many cases, however, a bounded (with respect to the y- and z-axes) portion of a wave can be found wherein the wave is nearly the same as a plane wave. This is primarily possible in free space at such great distances from the source that the source can be regarded as a point. Sometimes a wave that is propagating in a bounded region may coincide approximately with such a portion of a plane wave. An example is an elastic wave propagating in a rod.


Gorelik, G. S. Kolebaniia i volny, 2nd ed., ch. 5, subsec. 2, ch. 7, subsec. 3. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

plane wave

A shock wave whose front is normal to the direction of propagation. See normal shock wave.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
In free space it is difficult to guarantee that the signal impinging on the sample is a plane wave. At lab distances, the signal from most antennas is still somewhat spherical, which will greatly add to measurement error.
Model 1a exhibits characteristics of plane wave propagation up to about 1200Hz where 3D acoustic wave propagation starts.
In addition, the plane wave radiation boundary condition was applied for the incident plane wave propagating along the negative direction of z-axis.
The electronic band structures, density of states, and optical properties were calculated using the full-potential, linearized, augmented plane wave (FP-LAPW) method, as implemented in the WIEN2k code [31].
The evaluation was made via the phenomenon and the respective theory of the resonance of a dielectric particle when it is illuminated by a plane wave. The produced mathematical formulae were used for the numerical evaluation of the field inside the DNG and the verification of high-field intensity levels in the interior and the vicinity of the DNG.
For a plane wave [PSI](z, t) = [q.sub.z] = [q.sub.0z] sin([omega]t - kz), the velocity of the oscillation is
Since the light scattering has been established, some researches have studied the electromagnetic light scattering of particles for the plane wave case [1].
An x polarized plane wave normally illuminates on the slab, then by matching the boundary conditions, one may derive the reflection (R) and transmission (T) from the slab.
Thus, if a harmonic plane wave containing the components [H.sub.y], [H.sub.z], [E.sub.x] propagates along an interface between vacuum and an anisotropic medium, then there is no reflected wave (21), the transmission coefficient is equal to one (20), and also there are the surface currents (22) at the interface.
A plane wave obliquely striking a half-space interface from the optically thinner medium to optically denser medium in the frequency domain is considered.
For example, acoustic energy flux vectors of the incident plane wave and the spherical scattered wave at time zero are shown in Figure 1.
Wang, "Scattering of a plane wave by a lined cylindrical cavity in a poroelastic half-plane," Computers and Geotechnics, vol.