# Waving around .

1. Nov 20, 2008

### fisico30

waving around.....

hello Forum,

a question about waves. First of all, to my understanding, a wave is a phenomenon that transports something (energy, mass....) from point A to point B.

That sounds a lot like convection to me, but the convection equation has a 1st order time derivative, while the wave equation has 2nd order time derivative.
Why the second derivative?

b) Isn't a wave just any function whose argument is (space $$\pm$$ speed*time)?
(actually two standing waves can form a traveling wave, and viceversa)

c) What if in the equation, instead of the Laplacian, there was a Laplacian or higher order? The equation would still be a wave equation....but with what difference?

And why does a first order time derivative represent gain or loss(say we want to add gain or loss to the equation)? That is not what we have in the convection equation....

Thanks!
fisico30