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Plane wave vs wave packet 
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#1
Nov2713, 09:44 AM

P: 47

Generally speaking, what is the difference between these two? What I mean by that is: in what kind of different processes are these produced (and used in physics)?



#2
Nov2713, 10:02 AM

PF Gold
P: 1,141

Plane wave has infinite extent and is an idealization that cannot actually occur in the theory. The wave packet is limited in extent and is more realistic description according to the theory.



#3
Nov2813, 05:55 AM

Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 11,896

A 'packet wave' will consist of a range of frequencies, around the nominal frequency. A continuous wave (sinusoid) will, in the limit, consist of just one frequency.



#4
Nov3013, 10:54 PM

P: 32

Plane wave vs wave packet
Why are plane waves said to be infinite in extent? Why cant a wave have one frequency without being infinite in its "domain"?



#5
Dec113, 05:03 AM

Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 11,896




#6
Dec113, 06:36 AM

PF Gold
P: 1,141

Frequencies have nothing to do with "plane wave". There are plane waves that have nonperiodic profile, like ones used to model shock wave  when analyzed into Fourier integral, all possible frequencies are present. 


#7
Dec113, 10:34 AM

P: 32




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