Relation Between Group Velocity And Phase Velocity

Waves can be in the group and such groups are called wave packets, so the velocity with a wave packet travels is called group velocity. The velocity with which the phase of a wave travels is called phase velocity. The relation between group velocity and phase velocity are proportionate.

Group Velocity And Phase Velocity

The Group Velocity and Phase Velocity relation can be mathematically written as-

\(V_{g}=V_{p}+k\frac{dV_{p}}{dk}\)

Where,

  • Vg is the group velocity.
  • Vp is the phase velocity.
  • k is the angular wavenumber.

Group Velocity and Phase Velocity relation for Dispersive wave non-dispersive wave

Type of wave Condition Formula
Dispersive wave \(\frac{dV_{p}}{dk}\neq 0\) \(V_{p}\neq V_{g}\)
Non-dispersive wave \(\frac{dV_{p}}{dk}=0\) \(V_{p}= V_{g}\)

Group Velocity And Phase Velocity Relation

The group velocity is directly proportional to phase velocity. Which means-

  • When group velocity increases, proportionately phase velocity will also increase.
  • When phase velocity increases, proportionately group velocity will also increase.

Thus, we see the direct dependence of group velocity on phase velocity and vice-versa.

Relation Between Group Velocity And Phase Velocity Equation

For the amplitude of wave packet let-

  • ω is the angular velocity given by ω=2πf
  • k is the angular wave number given by – \(k=\frac{2\pi }{\lambda }\)
  • t is time
  • x be the position
  • Vp phase velocity
  • Vg be the group velocity

The phase velocity of a wave is given by the following equation:

\(v_p=\frac{\omega }{k}\)…..(eqn 1)

Rewritting the above equation, we get:

\(\omega=kv_p\)…..(eqn 2)

Differentiating (eqn 2) w.r.t k we obtain,

\(\frac{dw}{dk}=v_p+k\frac{dv_p}{dk}\)…..(eqn 3)


As \(v_g=\frac{dw}{dk}\), (eqn 3) reduces to:


\(v_g=v_p+k\frac{dv_p}{dk}\)

The above equation signifies the relationship between the phase velocity and the group velocity.

Hope you understood the relation between group velocity and phase velocity of a progressive wave.

Physics Related Topics:

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