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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
PESHAWAR -- A PhD Research Scholar Sadiq Akbar has submitted thesis on 'Parameter Estimation of Electromagnetic Plane Waves Using Novel Adoptive Metaheuristic Techniques' to the University of Peshawar for award of degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Electronics.
In Figure 2, the acoustic pressure map shows a clearly defined pattern characteristic of plane waves propagation defined by (3).
Three Russian professors introduce analytical methods for obtaining formal solutions to the radiation problems for elementary radiators generating essentially nonstationary signals, consider the various factors affecting the propagation of plane waves in unbounded conducting media, and explore techniques for estimating the transfer functions and impulse responses of ultrawideband (UWB) systems.
In case I, TE plane waves ([bar.E] = [??]E) would be influenced by [[mu].sub.y], [[mu].sub.z], [[epsilon].sub.x] and [[chi].sub.xy], while TM plane waves ([bar.H] = [??]H) would be influenced by [[epsilon].sub.y], [[epsilon].sub.z], [[mu].sub.x] and [[chi].sub.yx], respectively.
Carcione, "Reflection and transmission of qP-qS plane waves at a plane boundary between viscoelastic transversely isotropic media," Geophysical Journal International, vol.
Lee and Karl [7] studied the scattering and diffraction of plane waves by underground, circular, and cylindrical cavities at various depths in a half space.
Nevertheless, it was found that dispersion relation for the discrete equations of the plane waves contains additional extrema in comparison with that of the 1D lattice model.
The problem that we are dealing with in this paper is the scattering of time-harmonic acoustic plane waves by a mixed-type scatterer which is given as the union of an open arc and a penetrable inhomogeneous medium with compact support.
Physics textbooks idealize light as plane waves, in which the fronts of each wave move in parallel, much like ocean waves approaching a straight shoreline.
These reflection coefficients are used in the two-thickness extraction scheme in the exact manner as the reflection coefficients computed with plane waves. The arrangement of the line source for analysis is portrayed in Figure 2.
We can analyze plane waves and how they create resonances on the power planes using the MEFiSTo-2D Classic application (
We consider totally [N.sub.PW] plane waves, for examples [N.sub.PW] = 400, here, the number of plane wave angles [N.sub.PW] is deliberately overestimated.