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Visualizing wave equation solutions in MATLAB

Now that we know something about waves and about about how to plot data using MATLAB, let us try to visualize a wave in MATLAB. We said a function of the form p=f(x - c t) where f is an arbitrary function represents a forward going wave.

If we look at the function tex2html_wrap_inline393 for a speed of c=1, we can plot it for times t=0 and t=5 as a function of x by using the following MATLAB statements:

 xlist = linspace(-10,10,200);

pbegin=exp(-(xlist - 1*0).^ 2);

pend=exp(-(xlist - 1*5).^ 2);

plot(xlist, pbegin, xlist, pend)

xlabel('x')

ylabel('p')

One can clearly see that the wave is a pulse which is moving forward in the x direction.





VICTOR W SPARROW
Tue Feb 25 21:24:33 EST 1997