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Wave energy ~ wave height squ. or wave amplitude squ.?

  1. Dec 17, 2008 #1
    I've found different formulas regarding wave energy.

    1) Wave energy is proportional to wave length [tex]\lambda[/tex] times wave height squared

    2) Wave energy is proportional to wave period T times wave amplitude squared

    From what I've read, wave period is equivalent to wave length.
    But wave height does not equal wave amplitude (for a sinusoidal wave: h=2a) so shouldn't it be 4a?

    I think I'm mixing up a few things.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    In a "proportional to" relationship, numerical constants don't matter. So "proportional to amplitude squared" and "proportional to height squared" are equally valid statements, because amplitude and height are proportional to each other.
  4. Dec 18, 2008 #3
    Oh, okay, thank you.
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