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The drop in the pot: Waves from a point source in a circular enclosure

Harvey Kaplan
Journal / Anthology

American Journal of Physics
Year: 2005
Volume: 73
Issue: 2
Page range: 154-159

We present the results of a computational study of the waves that leave a point source in a circular enclosure. We work in the geometric optics approximation. A video results from the instantaneous source, and a single picture from the effectively steady source. We thus find Green's function for the scalar wave equation and for steady waves, respectively. We illustrate and explain some unexpected qualitative features of the waves, including the dependence of the focusing properties of the enclosure on the position of the point source. We compare our work with previous work on the natural focusing of light. The MATHEMATICA code that produces the video discussed in the paper is available on EPAPS. 2005 American Association of Physics Teachers.

*Science > Physics > Optics
*Science > Physics > Wave Motion

Wave motion, circular pool