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In the case of a homogeneous isotropic solid, physical theory tells us that we need only two quantities for a complete specification of the wave motion resulting from the particle motion. In seismic work, it is convenient to take the particle velocity and the pressure as these two quantities. Particle velocity is a vector in a 3D coordinate system, whereas pressure is a scalar. To simplify, we shall restrict ourselves to P-waves traveling in the vertical direction, so particle velocity becomes a scalar too.