paul sava


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© 2007 PC Sava

Page updated on
April 10, 2018

Huygens Principle


Does Huygens Principle teach us about Fermat's Principle? Watch:
Fermat's Principle says that the traveltime between a source and a receiver is stationary (extreme). Here is an illustration:

A wave from the source triggers secondary sources along the interface. The transmitted wave is the envelope of the secondary waves. The secondary wave that reaches the receiver first corresponds to the path of extreme traveltime, as suggested by Fermat's Principle.
Transmission from slow to fast media.

Transmission from fast to slow media.

Independent scattering along the interface generate secondary waves that are recorded at the receiver in the upper-left corner.
The data represents the stack of all recorded arrivals.


Figures can be used freely for non-profit educational purposes by acknowledging their source:
© Paul Sava, Center for Wave Phenomena, Colorado School of Mines
http://www.mines.edu/~psava