Falk Feddersen: SIOC 202A Fundamentals of Wave Physics (Winter 2018)

Fundamentals of Wave Physics (Part 1)

SIOC 202A Section 921970
Professor Falk Feddersen
falk at coast.ucsd.edu
Phone: 858.534.4345
Office: 2nd floor CCS - blue door with sticker that says Quit Beefin, Eat Lobstah

Class: Monday/Wednsday time 12:30-13:50 : IGPP 4301 Revelle Conference Room
Office Hours: Friday 10am

Description This is part one of the Fundamentals of Wave Physics course and it lasts 5 weeks. Bill Kuperman will teach part 2 which will focus on Acoustics. This is a required course for first year AOS students. Part one of this course is concerned with linear wave theory as it applies to the ocean, particularly surface gravity waves and internal waves. The course will begin with an introduction/review of the wave equation and relevant principles that should be familiar from Fourier analysis. The class will principally draw on lecture notes (see below). In addition, sections of various books will be assigned reading. Lectures will be at the level of SIOC 214 (fluids) and SIOC 202A (math A) and make use of material covered in both. You will also make use of tools developed in data analysis.

Course Requirements Students should enroll in four (4) units. If you are required to take this course, you should register as letter. Others can register as S/U. Students are expected to complete all the assigned homework, quizes, projects, and a final exam. There will be regularly assigned homework. Homework is expected to be done in LaTeX. There will be occasional short class quizzes as with GFD. There will be a short quiz due on the first day of class that does not count toward your grade. There will be one project and surface gravity waves. The goal is to either confirm or reject the theoretical constructs you're learning. The final grade will be based 1/2 on problem sets (HW + quizes), 1/4 on projects and 1/4 on a final exam for this portion of the class.


  1. Classic Wave Equations: Linear superposition, plane waves, phase speed, standing vs. propagating (FF: Chapter 1)
  2. Surface Gravity Waves A. Linear Derivation, Disperison Relationship (FF: Chapter 2, MCH: 1.1-1.3, 3.1-3.5, KUNDU: 7.1, 7.2)
  3. Surface Gravity Waves B. Flux-conservation equations, wave energy, energy flux, group velocity (YOUTUBE: Waves across the Pacific, FF Chapter 3, MCH 3.8, KUNDU 7.5), (PROJECT 1)
  4. Surface Gravity Waves C. Dispersion, group velocity, stationary phase (FF Chapter 4 MCH: 1.4 and 1.5, KUNDU 7.5)
  5. Surface Gravity Waves D: Ray theory, Snells law (FF: Chapter 16)
  6. Perfect fluid and Boussinesq approximation (FF: 5.1-5.2, Chapter 7, KUNDU 1.8,1.9, 15.2)
  7. Internal Gravity Waves A. Wave equation derivation, solutions and dispersion relationship (FF Chapter 8, KUNDU 7.8, MCH: 4.1 and 4.2, Pedlosky Waves Lecture 7)
  8. Internal Gravity Waves B. Energy conservation (FF: Chapter 9)
  9. Internal Gravity Waves C. Normal modes (FF: Chapter 10, MCH 4.3)
  10. Internal Gravity Waves D. Ray Tracing with non-constant N and Reflection on a slope (FF: Chapter 11)

Lecture notes
The two principal lecture note sources are the following Other Books These books that have relvant material in them. These include YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND WEBSITES BACKGROUND TO FOURIER ANALYSIS PAPERS
Surface Gravity Waves Ocean Acoustic Waves Internal Waves

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at falk@coast.ucsd.edu.