wave equation

  1. Mathematics, Physics. any differential equation that describes the propagation of waves or other disturbances in a medium.

  2. Physics. any of the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics whose solutions are possible wave functions of a particle.

Origin of wave equation

First recorded in 1925–30

Words Nearby wave equation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use wave equation in a sentence

  • Quantum mechanics holds that quantities like charge and mass are quantized—made up of discrete, countable units that cannot be subdivided—but that things like space, time, and wave equations are fundamentally continuous.

    Tomorrow’s computer, yesterday | Simson Garfinkel ’87, PhD ’05 | April 28, 2021 | MIT Technology Review

British Dictionary definitions for wave equation

wave equation

  1. physics a partial differential equation describing wave motion. It has the form ∇²φ = (1/ c ²) × (∂²φ/∂ t ²), where ∇² is the Laplace operator, t the time, c the speed of propagation, and φ is a function characterizing the displacement of the wave

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for wave equation

wave equation

  1. A partial differential equation that describes the shape and movement of waves, given a set of boundary conditions (such as the initial shape of the wave, or the evolution of a force affecting the wave).

  2. The fundamental equation of wave mechanics. See also Schrödinger's equation.

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