E217A: Physics and Math of Ocean Waves

This course will enable students to understand the applied physics of ocean waves and understand the mathematical approaches used in many cutting-edge prediction tools. Description: The mathematics of ocean waves are as important as the physics, because they are translated to other types of applications, and because they are essential in planning wave energy extraction methods. In fact, these mathematical approaches are given the privilege of being used even when they do not match well with the actual behavior of water waves! This micro-course introduces the physics of real ocean waves and the major mathematical approaches to describing them. Attention is paid to when the mathematical approaches are and are not accurate, and when they are and are not useful. The measurement techniques that have revealed the actual physical behavior of wave physics are included, along with ways in which these are expected to evolve in the coming decades.