Online pdf file of The Physics of Waves --- by Howard Georgi --- originally published by Prentice-Hall

As I prepared to teach the sophomore waves course at Harvard again after a break of over 10 years, I realized that I had accumulated a list of many things that I wanted to change in my waves text. And while I was very grateful to Prentice-Hall for all the help they gave me in turning my notes into a textbook, I felt that it was time to liberate the book from its paper straightjacket, and try to turn it into something more continuously evolving. Thus I asked Prentice-Hall to release the rights back to me, and they graciously agreed. My intention is to leave the textbook up on the web for students and teachers to use as they see fit, so long as they give me credit and do not use it for commercial purposes. I hope that readers will send suggestions for improvements. I will not have much time to think about these and implement them. But if I do incorporate something in the online version as the result of a suggestion, I will acknowledge the suggestion in the list of changes below.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

The programs --- ALLSLOW.EXE --- see appendix A

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Summary of changes to The Physics of Waves


I will try to record important changes to the text, but will not include every typo or spelling mistake.

June 2007: Moved the section Wakes and Shocks to a separate Chapter 14. There is still work to do on this. For example, some problems would be nice. Any suggestions?

January 2007: Included sections on geometrical optics and the rainbow in Chapter 11.

November 2006: Put up the text, incorporating changes for typos found over the years. Added hypertext. Changed sectioning slightly - having more sections and numbering the subsections to make hypertext more useful. Added section on the Kelvin wake to Chapter 11. For the Kelvin wake section, undergraduate Alan O'Donnell stimulated my interest in this and pointed me to the remarkable picture at the beginning of the section. I am deeply grateful to Hasuk (Francis) Song for helping me understand the literature. I am also grateful to many students for contributing to my understanding of the wake and to my (still limited) ability to convey my understanding. The list includes Susannah Dickerson and the students in my freshman seminar, Monica Allen, Jason Brodsky, Stanley Chiang, Alex Dubbs, Alexander Fabry, Shan Yuan (Ben) Huang, Joshua Kroll, Louis Kang, Nicholas Krasney, Yali Miao, Nikhil Srivastava and Norman Yao.