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# Waves in layered media

The gravitational stratification of the earth
arouses our interest in **layered media**.
There are many kinds of waves that can exist.
Here we study waves without assuming
knowledge of physics and differential equations.
We use only assumptions about the general principles of delay,
continuity, and **energy conservation**.
The results are directly applicable to sound waves,
water waves,
light in thin films,
normal incident elastic waves of both
pressure and shear type,
electromagnetic waves,
transmission lines, and
electrical ladder networks.
This chapter seems to concern itself only with
vertically incident waves.
Actually, with certain precautions, the theory
here applies to the set of all waves with
a fixed **Snell parameter** .
A lengthier version of this chapter appears
in chapter 8
in my book **Fundamental of Geophysical Data Processing** (**FGDP**)
(available on the web).
The lengthier web version also presents the solution to the more
practical problem,
to deduce the reflection coefficients given the observed waves.

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Stanford Exploration Project

3/1/2001