• synonyms

wave front

noun Physics.
  1. a surface, real or imaginary, that is the locus of all adjacent points at which the phase of oscillation is the same.
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Origin of wave front

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wave front

Historical Examples

  • With a dense prism, the wave-front of the shorter waves is more tilted towards the base than the wave-front of the longer waves.

    The Mechanism of Life

    Stphane Leduc

  • Hence the wave-front is flattened, the curvature of the refracted wave being less than that of the original wave of diffusion.

  • Hence the wave-front is tilted towards the base of the prism, and this tilting is repeated when the wave-front leaves the prism.

  • The middle of the wave-front now travels faster than the flanks, and the curvature is increased.

  • The contrary is the case when the wave-front passes into a medium where its velocity is greater.

wave front in Science

wave front

  1. The set of points in space reached by a wave or vibration at the same instant as the wave travels through a medium. Wave fronts generally form a continuous line or surface. The lines formed by crests of ripples on a pond, for example, correspond to curved wave fronts.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.