A variational principle for waves in discrete random media

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A new variational principle is derived for the Green's function of the linear harmonic response of a scalar wave field in a discretely heterogeneous medium. The variational principle is derived directly from exact multiple scattering integral equations and is stated in terms of a certain functional of trial configuration dependent fields. The functional is found to be stationary with respect to small variations in the fields when those fields have their correct configuration dependence. A certain trial dependence in the fields is shown to generate the Lax quasicrystalline multiple scattering equations. It is furthermore clear that these equations are optimal in the sense that any more realistic form for the trial fields unavoidably generates approximate equations entailing the generally unknown high order correlation functions. At its stationary point the proposed functional takes on a physically significant value. It becomes the change in the medium admittance due to the introduction of the scatterers. In a nonlossy medium this is related to the spectral density of modes. As errors in the trial fields cancel to first order, the final evaluation of the functional at its stationary point is especially accurate. Other related functionals are proposed and discussed as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-121
Number of pages17
JournalWave Motion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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