In physics, mathematics, and related fields, a wave is a propagating dynamic disturbance of one or more quantities. Waves can be periodic, in which case those quantities oscillate repeatedly about an equilibrium value at some frequency. When the entire waveform moves in one direction, it is said to be a traveling wave; by contrast, a pair of superimposed periodic waves traveling in opposite directions makes a standing wave. In a standing wave, the amplitude of vibration has nulls at some positions where the wave amplitude appears smaller or even zero. Waves are often described by a wave equation or a one-way wave equation for single wave propagation in a defined direction. Two types of waves are most commonly studied in classical physics. In a mechanical wave, stress and strain fields oscillate about a mechanical equilibrium.

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