Dictionary:Poisson’s ratio

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Warning: Display title "Dictionary:Poisson’s ratio" overrides earlier display title "Dictionary:Poisson’s ratio". The ratio of the fractional transverse contraction to the fractional longitudinal extension when a rod is stretched; see elastic constants and Figure E-6.

Figure E-6. Elastic moduli in isotropic media.

If density is known, specifying Poisson’s ratio is equivalent to specifying the ratio of VS/VP, where VS, and VP are S- and P-wave velocities. Values ordinarily range from 0.5 (no shear strength, e.g., fluid) to 0 (but theoretically from 0.5 to –1.0; see Debski and Tarantola, 1995).[1]


  1. Debski, W. and Tarantola, A., 1995, Information of elastic parameters obtained from the amplitudes of elastic waves: Geophysics, 60, 1426–1436.

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