Definition of wave theory in US English:

wave theory


  • The theory that light is propagated through the ether by a wave motion imparted to the ether by the molecular vibrations of the radiant body.

    • ‘This hypothesis, which had been tentatively proposed by Max Planck a few years earlier, directly challenged the wave theory of light.’
    • ‘He warned of the dangers of lead poisoning and hypothesized about continental drift and the wave theory of light.’
    • ‘He studied continuum mechanics, lunar theory with Clairaut, the three body problem, elasticity, acoustics, the wave theory of light, hydraulics, and music.’
    • ‘A few years earlier another member of the Royal Society, Robert Hooke, had published a wave theory of light and his own theory of colours.’
    • ‘As for the wave theory, most physicists were happy to retain it for some phenomena, while simultaneously embracing the new photon hypothesis for others.’