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# wave equation

## noun

*Mathematics, Physics.*any differential equation that describes the propagation of waves or other disturbances in a medium.*Physics.*any of the fundamental equations of quantum mechanics whose solutions are possible wave functions of a particle.

wave equation

## noun

- 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

wave equation

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

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## Word History and Origins

Origin of wave equation^{1}

First recorded in 1925–30

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## Example Sentences

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.

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