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
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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

wave equation in Science

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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