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I'm wondering about the physical meaning of the imaginary part of a complex wave number (e.g., the context of fluid dynamics or acoustics). It is obvious that

[tex] w = \hat{w} \mathrm{e}^{i k_z z} [/tex]

describes an undamped wave if [tex] k_z = \Re(k_z) [/tex] and an evanescent wave if [tex] k_z = \Im(k_z) [/tex].

If [tex] k_z = \Re(k_z) [/tex] is proportional to the energy of the wave, can I interpret

[tex] k_z = \Im(k_z) [/tex] as a kind of dissipation/reduction of energy per length z?

Thanks!

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# I Interpretation of complex wave number

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