In physics, a wave vector (also spelled wavevector) is a vector which helps describe a wave. Like any vector, it has a magnitude and direction, both of which are important: Its magnitude is either the wavenumber or angular wavenumber of the wave (inversely proportional to the wavelength), and its direction is ordinarily the direction of wave propagation (but not always, see below).
In the context of special relativity the wave vector can also be defined as a four-vector.
Famous quotes containing the word wave:
“I sometimes compare press officers to riflemen on the Sommemowing down wave upon wave of distortion, taking out rank upon rank of supposition, deduction and gossip.”
—Bernard Ingham (b. 1932)