Math Awareness Month at UNO April 6
Mark J. Ablowitz, University of Colorado, Boulder
Waves, waves, waves, ….waves everywhere!
Waves are common. Water waves, ocean waves, light waves … so typical but yet so complex. Waves and their dynamics are widely studied by scientists. In fact, mathematicians are in an advantageous position. Even though the underlying physical descriptions may be different, in many cases the dynamics satisfy the same or very similar equations! In this lecture we will take a tour of some wave phenomena. This will include: water waves in channels, tsunamis, great undersea waves, waves in fiber optics, and waves constructed with only “0’s and 1’s” (the “game of life”). Although these systems may seem very different, we will expose their important common elements. The lecture will be general in nature, without any advanced mathematics required. At times some equations will be presented as a vehicle to explain and illustrate the fundamental similarities between the systems.