The caustics of high-frequency wave propagation may be classified using catastrophe theory. In this paper, we examine the transient wave fields in the vicinity of the elliptic, hyperbolic, and parabolic umbilic catastrophes. Analytical results are presented which describe the time-dependent wave field due to an impulsive source on and at large distances in each control direction away from the most singular point of each of these three catastrophes. Numerical results are presented which show the smooth variation of these transient wave fields as each control parameter is independently varied. These result are compared to previously derived results on the transient wave fields in the vicinity of the cuspoid catastrophes (the cuspoid and umbilic catastrophes have coranks 1 and 2, respectively). It is found that the transient wave fields in the vicinity of the cuspoid and umbilic catastrophes differ with regard to the temporal structure of the wave field on the most singular point of each catastrophe, the manner in which these temporal structures unfold, and the phase shifts which individual rays undergo as a result of touching one of the catastrophes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)