Devices that exploit the properties of elastic surface waves can perform very complex signal‐processing functions, identical to those carried out by conventional electromagnetic devices. The great advantage to using surface waves instead of electromagnetic waves is the tremendous reduction in size of surface‐wave devices compared to their electromagnetic counterparts. This great reduction in size is the result of the great difference between the elastic and electromagnetic velocities. Surface waves propagate at velocities approximately slower than electromagnetic velocities; thus, at the same frequency, the elastic wavelength is shorter than the electromagnetic wavelength. A further advantage is that the energy in the elastic surface wave can readily be sensed anywhere along its path.
Elastic surface waves
John de Klerk; Elastic surface waves. Physics Today 1 November 1972; 25 (11): 32–39. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3071091
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