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acoustic wave equation

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In physics, the acoustic wave equation governs the propagation of acoustic waves through a material medium. The form of the

equation is a second order partial differential equation. The equation describes the evolution of acoustic pressure or particle

velocity u as a function of position x and time . A simplified form of the equation describes acoustic waves in only one spatial

dimension, while a more general form describes waves in three dimensions.

For lossy media, more intricate models need to be applied in order to take into account frequency-dependent attenuation and phase

speed. Such models include acoustic wave equations that incorporate fractional derivative terms, see also the acoustic attenuation

article or the survey paper.[1]

Contents

In one dimension

Equation

Solution

Derivation

In three dimensions

Equation

Solution

Cartesian coordinates

Cylindrical coordinates

Spherical coordinates

See also

References

In one dimension

Equation

The wave equation describing sound in one dimension (position ) is

where is the acoustic pressure (the local deviation from the ambient pressure), and where is the speed of sound.[2]

Solution

Provided that the speed is a constant, not dependent on frequency (the dispersionless case), then the most general solution is

where and are any two twice-differentiable functions. This may be pictured as the superposition of two waveforms of arbitrary

profile, one ( ) travelling up the x-axis and the other ( ) down the x-axis at the speed . The particular case of a sinusoidal wave

travelling in one direction is obtained by choosing either or to be a sinusoid, and the other to be zero, giving

where is the angular frequency of the wave and is its wave number.

Derivation

The wave equation can be developed from the

linearized one-dimensional continuity equation,

the linearized one-dimensional force equation and

the equation of state.

of density can be linearized to

and density into their mean and total components Derivation of the acoustic wave equation

and noting that :

Condensation, s, is defined as the change in density for a given ambient fluid density

.

.

Where u is the flow velocity of the fluid. Again the equation must be linearized and the variables split into mean and variable

components.

Rearranging and noting that ambient density changes with neither time nor position and that the condensation multiplied by the

velocity is a very small number:

Euler's Force equation (conservation of momentum) is the last needed component. In one dimension the equation is:

where represents the convective, substantial or material derivative, which is the derivative at a point moving with medium

rather than at a fixed point.

Rearranging and neglecting small terms, the resultant equation becomes the linearized one-dimensional Euler Equation:

Taking the time derivative of the continuity equation and the spatial derivative of the force equatio

n results in:

Multiplying the first by , subtracting the two, and substituting the linearized equation of state,

where is the speed of propagation.

In three dimensions

Equation

Feynman[3] provides a derivation of the wave equation for sound in three dimensions as

where is the Laplace operator, is the acoustic pressure (the local deviation from the ambient pressure), and where is the speed

of sound.

A similar looking wave equation but for thevector field particle velocity is given by

In some situations, it is more convenient to solve the wave equation for an abstract scalar field

velocity potential which has the form

and then derive the physical quantities particle velocity and acoustic pressure by the equations (or definition, in the case of particle

velocity):

Solution

The following solutions are obtained byseparation of variablesin different coordinate systems. They arephasor solutions, that is they

have an implicit time-dependence factor of where is the angular frequency. The explicit time dependence is given by

Cartesian coordinates

Cylindrical coordinates

.

where the asymptotic approximations to theHankel functions, when , are

Spherical coordinates

Depending on the chosen Fourier convention, one of these represents an outward travelling wave and the other an nonphysical inward

travelling wave. The inward travelling solution wave is only nonphysical because of the singularity that occurs at r=0; inward

travelling waves do exist.

See also

Acoustics

Acoustic attenuation

Acoustic theory

Wave Equation

Differential Equations

Thermodynamics

Fluid Dynamics

Pressure

Ideal Gas Law

References

1. S. P. Näsholm and S. Holm, "On a Fractional Zener Elastic W

ave Equation," Fract. Calc. Appl. Anal. Vol. 16, No 1

(2013), pp. 26-50, DOI: 10.2478/s13540-013--0003-1Link to e-print (http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.4024)

2. Richard Feynman, Lectures in Physics, Volume 1, Chapter 47: Sound. The wave equation(http://feynmanlectures.ca

ltech.edu/I_47.html), Caltech 1963, 2006, 2013

3. Richard Feynman, Lectures in Physics, Volume 1, 1969, Addison Publishing Company, Addison

"

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