On The Thermodynamic Theory of Waves of Finite Longitudinal Disturbance
The object of the present investigation is to determine the relations which must exist between the laws of the elasticity of any substance, whether gaseous, liquid, or solid, and those of the wave-like propagation of a finite longitudinal disturbance in that substance; in other words, of a disturbance consisting in displacements of particles along the direction of propagation, the velocity of displacement of the particles being so great that it is not to be neglected in comparison with the velocity of propagation. In particular, the investigation aims at ascertaining what conditions as to the transfer of heat from particle to particle must be fulfilled in order that a finite longitudinal disturbance may be propa-gated along a prismatic or cylindrical mass without loss of energy or change of type: the word type being used to denote the relation between the extent of disturbance at a given instant of a set of particles, and their respective undisturbed positions. The disturbed matter in these inquiries may be conceived to be contained in a straight tube of uniform cross-section and indefinite length.
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