Dictionary:Eikonal equation

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(ī kōn’ ∂l) A form of the wave equation for harmonic waves in which the local velocity V is compared to a reference velocity VR (analogous to comparing a velocity to the speed of light in vacuum):

2=(V/VR)2=n2,


where n is an index of refraction and is the wave function. Valid only where the variation of properties is small within a wavelength, sometimes called the ‘‘high-frequency condition.’’