This example shows how to solve a simple scattering problem, where you compute the waves reflected by a square object illuminated by incident waves that are coming from the left. This example uses the programmatic workflow. For the PDE Modeler app solution, see Scattering Problem: PDE Modeler App.

For this problem, assume an infinite horizontal membrane subjected to small vertical displacements *U*. The membrane is fixed at the object boundary. The medium is homogeneous, and the phase velocity (propagation speed) of a wave, *α,* is constant. The wave equation is

$$\frac{{\partial}^{2}\mathit{U}}{\partial {\mathit{t}}^{2}}-{\alpha}^{2}\u25b5\mathit{U}=0$$

The solution *U* is the sum of the incident wave *V* and the reflected wave *R*:

$\mathit{U}=\mathit{V}+\mathit{R}$

When the illumination is harmonic in time, you can compute the field by solving a single steady problem. Assume that the incident wave is a plane wave traveling in the *-x* direction:

$\mathit{V}\left(\mathit{x},\mathit{y},\mathit{t}\right)={\mathit{e}}^{\mathit{i}\left(-\mathit{k}\mathit{x}-\omega \mathit{t}\right)}={\mathit{e}}^{-\mathit{ikx}}\cdot {\mathit{e}}^{-\mathit{i}\omega \mathit{t}}$

The reflected wave can be decomposed into spatial and time components:

$\mathit{R}\left(\mathit{x},\mathit{y},\mathit{t}\right)=\mathit{r}\left(\mathit{x},\mathit{y}\right){\mathit{e}}^{-\mathit{i}\omega \mathit{t}}$

Now you can rewrite the wave equation as the Helmholtz equation for the spatial component of the reflected wave with the wave number $\mathit{k}=\omega /\alpha $:

$$-\Delta r-{k}^{2}r=0$$

The Dirichlet boundary condition for the boundary of the object is *U* = 0, or in terms of the incident and reflected waves, *R* = -*V*. For the time-harmonic solution and the incident wave traveling in the *-x* direction, you can write this boundary condition as follows:

$\mathit{r}\left(\mathit{x},\mathit{y}\right)=-{\mathit{e}}^{-\mathit{ikx}}$

The reflected wave *R* travels outward from the object. The condition at the outer computational boundary must allow waves to pass without reflection. Such conditions are usually called nonreflecting. As $\left|\overrightarrow{\mathit{x}}\right|$ approaches infinity, *R* approximately satisfies the one-way wave equation

$\frac{\partial \mathit{R}}{\partial \mathit{t}}+\alpha \overrightarrow{\xi}\cdot \nabla \mathit{R}=0$

This equation considers only the waves moving in the positive *ξ*-direction. Here, *ξ* is the radial distance from the object. With the time-harmonic solution, this equation turns into the generalized Neumann boundary condition

$\overrightarrow{\xi}\cdot \nabla \mathit{r}-\mathit{ikr}=0$

To solve the scattering problem using the programmatic workflow, first create a PDE model with a single dependent variable.

numberOfPDE = 1; model = createpde(numberOfPDE);

Specify the variables that define the problem:

`g`

: A geometry specification function. For more information, see the documentation section Parametrized Function for 2-D Geometry Creation and the code for`scatterg.m`

.`k`

,`c`

,`a`

,`f`

: The coefficients and inhomogeneous term.

g = @scatterg; k = 60; c = 1; a = -k^2; f = 0;

Convert the geometry and append it to the model.

geometryFromEdges(model,g);

Plot the geometry and display the edge labels for use in the boundary condition definition.

figure; pdegplot(model,'EdgeLabels','on'); axis equal title 'Geometry with Edge Labels Displayed'; ylim([0,1])

Apply the boundary conditions.

bOuter = applyBoundaryCondition(model,'neumann','Edge',(5:8),'g',0,'q',-60i); innerBCFunc = @(loc,state)-exp(-1i*k*loc.x); bInner = applyBoundaryCondition(model,'dirichlet','Edge',(1:4),'u',innerBCFunc);

Specify the coefficients.

specifyCoefficients(model,'m',0,'d',0,'c',c,'a',a,'f',f);

Generate a mesh.

generateMesh(model,'Hmax',0.02); figure pdemesh(model); axis equal

Solve for the complex amplitude. The real part of vector `u`

stores an approximation to a real-valued solution of the Helmholtz equation.

result = solvepde(model); u = result.NodalSolution;

Plot the solution.

figure pdeplot(model,'XYData',real(u),'Mesh','off'); colormap(jet)

Using the solution to the Helmholtz equation, create an animation showing the corresponding solution to the time-dependent wave equation.

figure m = 10; maxu = max(abs(u)); for j = 1:m uu = real(exp(-j*2*pi/m*sqrt(-1))*u); pdeplot(model,'XYData',uu,'ColorBar','off','Mesh','off'); colormap(jet) caxis([-maxu maxu]); axis tight ax = gca; ax.DataAspectRatio = [1 1 1]; axis off M(j) = getframe; end

To play the movie, use the `movie(M)`

command.