Translations:The wave equation/19/en

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However, when the dimension of some obstacle is of the same order of magnitude as the wavelength, then the phenomenon of diffraction occurs. In the case of an impulsive source (e.g., a dynamite explosion), the seismic energy is transported in the form of a short compressional wavelet whose breadth is of the same order of magnitude as the geologic bodies whose shape we wish to determine. Thus, within the usual distance ranges, velocities, and frequencies encountered in seismic work, we do not have pure raypaths in the form of infinitely narrow beams, so we must take into account diffraction effects.