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Waving around .

  1. Nov 20, 2008 #1
    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 [tex]\pm[/tex] 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....

  2. jcsd
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