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Introduction to the Physics of Waves by Tim Freegarde

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13

Linearity and superpositions

13.1 Wave motions in linear systems

We have already on several occasions mentioned the superposition principle for linear systems. It is, indeed, reasonably intuitive that different wave motions may be combined and will propagate without interacting in the linear systems that form most of the cases we meet. The principle is nevertheless so important that we should address it directly.

imagesPain [66] pp. 128–132French [29] pp. 213–216 and 230–234Main [60] pp. 37–72 and 213–220Feynman [23] Vol. I, pp. 25-1–25-5

By no means, though, are all physical systems linear: the breaking waves of a wind-torn ocean provide a ...

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