Transient acoustic wave fields in the vicinity of caustics in both two and three space dimensions are considered. In the vicinity of some possible caustics, the time history of the wave field due to an impulsive source includes a precursor. This noncausal behavior is reconciled with the physical principle of causality by requiring that such caustics be a part of certain higher dimensional caustics. With this constraint all noncausal arrivals are preceded by a causal arrival and the total time history is causal. This constraint is used to derive some simple general properties of transient wave fields in the short wave limit, e.g., the number of arrivals must be an odd number.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics