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A comparison of the factorization approach to temporal and spatial propagation in the case of some acoustic waves

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Article number025011
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/02/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Physics Communications
Number of pages16
Early online date17/01/18
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The evolution of acoustic waves can be evaluated in two ways: either as a temporal, or a spatial propagation. Propagating in space provides the considerable advantage of being able to handle dispersion and propagation across interfaces with remarkable efficiency; but propagating in time is more physical and gives correctly behaved reflections and scattering without effort. Which should
be chosen in a given situation, and what compromises might have to be made? Here the natural behaviors of each choice of propagation are compared and contrasted for an ordinary second order wave equation, the time-dependent diffusion wave equation, an elastic rod wave equation, and the Stokes'/ van Wijngaarden's equations, each case illuminating a characteristic feature of the
technique. Either choice of propagation axis enables a partitioning the wave equation that gives rise to a directional factorization based on a natural "reference" dispersion relation. The resulting exact coupled bidirectional equations then reduce to a single unidirectional first-order wave equation using a simple "slow evolution" assumption that minimizes effect of subsequent approximations, while
allowing a direct term-to-term comparison between exact and approximate theories.