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# Seriously do not understand wave functions. watch

1. So the general wave function (ignoring phase for now) is

Right then, my problems. What the hell is y(x,t) supposed to be? I mean, if x is displacement from the equilibrium position of a wave and t is the time.. what on earth is left for y? I can't understand why this equation isn't more like x = f(t), since the position of a point on the wave depends upon a function of time only. More concisely; what is the point/meaning behind the number you get out for y(x,t)?

Secondly, I know omega is used to represent angular velocity.. not really much to do with a wave though, so what's it for here? Not sure what k is either, but I suspect it's to get the right wavelength.

However the first part is the biggest problem. I simply do not understand what this formula is doing. If I were to attempt to discover a wave equation, I would try to express where a point is (x) in terms of time (t). Why are you putting both these things into Sin (or Cos), and whats the resulting number supposed to be?
2. I've suddenly realised why its a function of x and t. The wave is travelling through time AND space.. how silly how me. Not that I understand it all suddenly, just discovered the need for x and t.
3. Y is the amplitude of the wave at a given point in x space and time.... You can fix x to get a time dependent sine wave.. You can fix t to get an x dependent sine curve...

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Updated: October 31, 2011
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