# Wavefront, wave optics

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What Is a wavefront? How can we interpret it?

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BvU
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How do you interpret it ? What have you found so far ?

How do you interpret it ? What have you found so far ?
as per my book it is locus of all points oscillating in same phase. but i am not getting any sense of it from definition as to how to identify them and their structures.

BvU
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Wording as in wiki. It's a description. When you are surfing you ride the crest of a wave: a wavefront. Do they have a structure ?

Wording as in wiki. It's a description. When you are surfing you ride the crest of a wave: a wavefront. Do they have a structure ?
like if we through a stone in water the wavefront of water waves will have spherical structure as an example

BvU
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Cultural issue: I would call that shape and reserve 'structure' for 'how it's built and with what'.
Other issue with 'identify': they don't have social security numbers.
Double trouble with 'how to identify them and their structures' .

Google is your friend: a wave is a propagating disturbance and from that I would loosely consider the wavefront as the locus of 'first arrivals'.

For identification some form of detection seems indicated and for shape you would need extended detection.

Shape is relative: for a lot of phenomena the plane wave concept is already adequate, for others you need a bit more (cylindrical, spherical).

Bheshaj
Cultural issue: I would call that shape and reserve 'structure' for 'how it's built and with what'.
Other issue with 'identify': they don't have social security numbers.
Double trouble with 'how to identify them and their structures' .

Google is your friend: a wave is a propagating disturbance and from that I would loosely consider the wavefront as the locus of 'first arrivals'.

For identification some form of detection seems indicated and for shape you would need extended detection.

Shape is relative: for a lot of phenomena the plane wave concept is already adequate, for others you need a bit more (cylindrical, spherical).
why does a point source produce spherical wavefront because waves are emitted in all the directions in 3 dimension

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BvU
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A disturbance proagates with a certain speed. If the medium is isotropic that speed will be the same in every direction, so after a given time the wavefront () has propagated over equal distances in all directions. The locus of points that have the same distance to a given origin is a spherical shell

Bheshaj
A disturbance proagates with a certain speed. If the medium is isotropic that speed will be the same in every direction, so after a given time the wavefront () has propagated over equal distances in all directions. The locus of points that have the same distance to a given origin is a spherical shell
got it , but can you please tell what will be the wavefront for converging and diverging rays and why?

BvU
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You bring in 'rays' now. What are you asking ? What have you found so far and what is unclear ?

Rays are perpendicular to wavefronts, so:

Best I can think of is diverging ##\leftrightarrow## convex
and converging ##\leftrightarrow## concave (2nd picture in the link from post #4)

vanhees71