What is wave speed?

A. S. Tysseling, A. E. Vardy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of "wave speed" is at the heart of most descriptions of wave motion, whether qualitative or quantitative. However, (is argued in this paper that the term wave speed is interpreted differently by analysts using different mathematical methods of representing wave mOtion It is shown that, whereas the implications of the inconsistency are often insignificant, that outcome is not guaranteed Furthermore, even if the different usages never had any consequences for practical predictions of wave behaviour, the ambiguous use of terminology inevitably creates communication barriers between disciplines. The discussion begins with a descnprion of simple waves as observed by lay persons and their interpretations have a strong influence on the assessment of the alternative mathematical approaches Overall, in the matter of wave speed, it is shown that lay persons' perspectives coincide more closely with frequency- domain methods than with MOC methods.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBHR Group - 12th International Conference on Pressure Surges
PublisherBHR Group Limited
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781510817180
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
EventBHR Group: 12th International Conference on Pressure Surges - Ireland, Dublin
Duration: 18 Nov 201520 Nov 2015


ConferenceBHR Group
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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