Found 2 items, similar to wave theory.
English → English
Definition: wave theory
n : (physics) the theory that light is transmitted as waves
[syn: undulatory theory
, wave theory of light
, corpuscular theory
English → English
Definition: Wave theory
(?; 277), a. [Cf. F. ondulatoire.]
Moving in the manner of undulations, or waves; resembling the
motion of waves, which successively rise or swell rise or
swell and fall; pertaining to a propagated alternating
motion, similar to that of waves.
, or Wave theory
(of light) (Opt.), that
theory which regards the various phenomena of light as due
to undulations in an ethereal medium, propagated from the
radiant with immense, but measurable, velocities, and
producing different impressions on the retina according to
their amplitude and frequency, the sensation of brightness
depending on the former, that of color on the latter. The
undulations are supposed to take place, not in the
direction of propagation, as in the air waves constituting
sound, but transversely, and the various phenomena of
refraction, polarization, interference, etc., are
attributable to the different affections of these
undulations in different circumstances of propagation. It
is computed that the frequency of the undulations
corresponding to the several colors of the spectrum ranges
from 458 millions of millions per second for the extreme
red ray, to 727 millions of millions for the extreme
violet, and their lengths for the same colors, from the
thirty-eight thousandth to the sixty thousandth part of an
inch. The theory of ethereal undulations is applicable not
only to the phenomena of light, but also to those of heat.
, n. [From Wave
, v.; not the same word as OE. wawe,
waghe, a wave, which is akin to E. wag to move. [root]138.
, v. i.]
1. An advancing ridge or swell on the surface of a liquid, as
of the sea, resulting from the oscillatory motion of the
particles composing it when disturbed by any force their
position of rest; an undulation.
The wave behind impels the wave before. --Pope.
2. (Physics) A vibration propagated from particle to particle
through a body or elastic medium, as in the transmission
of sound; an assemblage of vibrating molecules in all
phases of a vibration, with no phase repeated; a wave of
vibration; an undulation. See Undulation
3. Water; a body of water. [Poetic] “Deep drank Lord Marmion
of the wave.”
--Sir W. Scott.
Build a ship to save thee from the flood,
I 'll furnish thee with fresh wave, bread, and wine.
4. Unevenness; inequality of surface. --Sir I. Newton.
5. A waving or undulating motion; a signal made with the
hand, a flag, etc.
6. The undulating line or streak of luster on cloth watered,
or calendered, or on damask steel.
7. Something resembling or likened to a water wave, as in
rising unusually high, in being of unusual extent, or in
progressive motion; a swelling or excitement, as of
feeling or energy; a tide; flood; period of intensity,
usual activity, or the like; as, a wave of enthusiasm;
waves of applause.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
(Physics), the surface of initial displacement
of the particles in a medium, as a wave of vibration
(Physics), the space, reckoned in the direction
of propagation, occupied by a complete wave or undulation,
as of light, sound, etc.; the distance from a point or
phase in a wave to the nearest point at which the same
(Shipbuilding), a line of a vessel's hull, shaped
in accordance with the wave-line system.
, Wave-line theory
system or theory of designing the lines of a vessel, which
takes into consideration the length and shape of a wave
which travels at a certain speed.
, a loaf for a wave offering. --Lev. viii. 27.
(Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of small
geometrid moths belonging to Acidalia
and allied genera;
-- so called from the wavelike color markings on the
, an offering made in the Jewish services by
waving the object, as a loaf of bread, toward the four
cardinal points. --Num. xviii. 11.
Wave of vibration
(Physics), a wave which consists in, or
is occasioned by, the production and transmission of a
vibratory state from particle to particle through a body.
(a) (Physics) A surface of simultaneous and equal
displacement of the particles composing a wave of
(b) (Geom.) A mathematical surface of the fourth order
which, upon certain hypotheses, is the locus of a wave
surface of light in the interior of crystals. It is
used in explaining the phenomena of double refraction.
See under Refraction
. (Physics) See Undulatory theory