Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. A differential or partial differential equation used to represent wave motion.
2. The fundamental equation of wave mechanics.
(General Physics) physics a partial differential equation describing wave motion. It has the form ∇2φ = (1/c2) × (∂2φ/∂t2), where ∇2 is the Laplace operator, t the time, c the speed of propagation, and φ is a function characterizing the displacement of the wave