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.

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.

plane wave

A shock wave whose front is normal to the direction of propagation. See normal shock wave.
References in periodicals archive ?
Certainly, the plane wave solution may be obtained where the sign of the product of the coefficients at nonlinear and dispersive terms defines the existence of either bright or dark solitons.
The present paper investigates the equivalent transformation relations between the plane wave in 1D medium and the cylindrical wave in polar geometry.
A simple plane wave has the same polarization everywhere," says Arno Rauschenbeutel, "but when the intensity of the light changes locally, the polarization changes too.
Set the source/excitation type (sin(f)), frequency and number of simulation steps (Total=50/[PTimeStepL)cltaT|), then run the simulation using the "++" icon to animate the plane wave propagation.
The mid frequency region, where several modes start to propagate in addition to the plane wave.
This expression assumes a plane wave form for the gravitational waves.
He covers electromagnetic plane wave fundamentals, electromagnetic waves in media, antennas, receivers, radiometry, radar, imaging systems, and the interferometric measurement of angular velocity.
The objective of present paper is to study the effects of rotation and diffusion on plane wave propagation in a rotating thermoelastic solid.
The wave front emitted by the vibrating surface is phase coherent, producing a plane wave with very high directivity and very accurate sound imaging.
0] + QP), as if the incident field is a plane wave propagating in the direction of the z-axis and [U.
In [4], Jumale (2006) has solved the field equations in non-symmetric unified field theory proposed by Einstein and obtained five dimensional (z-t)-type plane wave solutions on the lines of Takeno (1961) [6] with the space-time metric of Ambatkar (2002)[1].
In a simplistic approach, there are three kinds of electromagnetic waves generated from devices, namely, magnetic, electric and plane wave according to Ott [1].