Wave propagation is any of the ways in which waves travel.
- vp is the phase velocity (in meters per second, m/s),
- ω is the angular frequency (in radians per second, rad/s),
- k is the wavenumber (in radians per meter, rad/m).
The phase speed gives you the speed at which a point of constant phase of the wave will travel for a discrete frequency. The angular frequency ω cannot be chosen independently from the wavenumber k, but both are related through the dispersion relationship:
In the special case Ω(k) = ck, with c a constant, the waves are called non-dispersive, since all frequencies travel at the same phase speed c. For instance electromagnetic waves in vacuum are non-dispersive. In case of other forms of the dispersion relation, we have dispersive waves. The dispersion relationship depends on the medium through which the waves propagate and on the type of waves (for instance electromagnetic, sound or water waves).
In almost all cases, a wave is mainly a movement of energy through a medium. Most often, the group velocity is the velocity at which the energy moves through this medium.
- Absorption (electromagnetic radiation)
- Antenna theory
- Huygens–Fresnel principle
- Polarization (waves)
- Radio propagation
- Reflection (physics)