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Visualizing Wave Propagation

version (401 KB) by Dick Benson
Visualize wave propagation through media with different impedances and propagation velocities.


Updated 01 Sep 2016

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Wave Propagation is a natural phenomenon that is important in many physical systems. Text books leave much to be desired regarding visualization of wave propagation since they are not animated. The package has a sequence of 6 models that have both a transient pulse excitation as well as a sine wave excitation. The model sequence starts with a one transmission line version that has user definable source and load impedance and evolves to a three line model using an exponentially tapered matching section.
Using these models, the student can gain an intuitive understanding of transmission, reflection, superposition, impedance matching, Standing Wave Ratio, and many other wave phenomenons.
This work was inspired by the 1959 Bell Labs film on Waves:

Cite As

Dick Benson (2020). Visualizing Wave Propagation (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (7)

Dick Benson

Checked all 6 models using R2020a and all run fine.
R2020a Simulink does seem to take longer to startup, so more patience may be required.

Nicholas Baker

Hi Dick,
I unfortunately get errors when trying to open with 2020a. Any chance of an update?

Dick Benson

Checked all 6 models on R2015a, R2017b, R2018b .... all is well.

Antonio Gonzalez

Running in to "Struct contents reference from a non-struct array object." errors. I ran "waves.m" on R2017a, opened "One Line with Load and Source Z", and clicked ran. Then I get the previously mentioned error. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Lyuboslav Petrov

Unfortunately BLAS and LAPACK loading errors prevent me from testing and studying the code again, using R2013b. I do remember however, that it worked a while ago. MATLAB need to sit down and work on this.

Lyuboslav Petrov

Patrice Brunelle

Excellent job Dick.
When you disconnect the load and let the line open-circuit you can even observe the well known phenomea of bouncing back wave:


Updated license

This submission has been updated to run in R2015A as well as R2014b.
It also has replaced the SimPower elements with SimScape/SimElectronics elements.
Therefore SimPower is no longer required, but SimElectronics is in its place.

Updated for R2014b.

Models updated to be compliant with changes in R2013B.

Models were updated to be in compliance with changes made to R2013B.

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2014b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux