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B 3D models of waves

  1. Apr 5, 2016 #1
    I am looking for 3D (or 4D, etc.) images of waves (such as light or sound), but seem to be having difficulty locating such models. Can someone please direct me to this kind of display, or is it not something being currently done?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

  4. Apr 8, 2016 #3
    Thanks... however, that is not actually what I had in mind. What I mean is a 3D model, that can be rotated, etc. (as in a CAD program). For instance, with a sound wave, the 3rd dimension might be some measure of the acoustic quality of the sound... or for light, a measure of the reflectivity of the surface upon which the light is cast. Have models like these been done?
  5. Apr 8, 2016 #4
    Google Sketchup 8 is a free CAD program. Simply draw a 2D wave, and use the follow me tool to draw it around a circle thus creating a 3D representation.
  6. Apr 8, 2016 #5
    Here is what it would look like in Sketchup. Use the follow me tool to reach the third step. Note - the wave line must have a thickness.

    Attached Files:

  7. Apr 12, 2016 #6
    Thank you kolleamm, but I think I must not be communicating my thoughts very well. What you have posted looks like a 2D curve extended into a 3rd dimension. What I actually have in mind is a 3D representation, charting three separate parameters (or possibly 4 or 5, if you added color and/or shading). I would expect the shape to look like wave that is bent this way and that in the 3rd dimension... unless, of course, there is some kind of pattern to the results, in which case there may be, for instance, a wave when viewed from other perspective(s). (Note: Before I posted the OP, I did find a thread from someone thinking along these lines - I think it is entitled "3D model of an EM wave" - but it did not include an example.)
  8. Apr 12, 2016 #7


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  9. Apr 12, 2016 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    I agree. I think you will just have to get some graphing software and plot what you want. I don't think that this guessing game is working.
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