wave front


noun Physics.

a surface, real or imaginary, that is the locus of all adjacent points at which the phase of oscillation is the same.

Origin of wave front

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wave front

Historical Examples of wave front

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

  • 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.

  • 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

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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