On the second-order homogenization of wave motion in periodic media and the sound of a chessboard

Antoine Wautier, Bojan B. Guzina

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29 Scopus citations


Abstract The goal of this study is to better understand the mathematical structure and ramifications of the second-order homogenization of low-frequency wave motion in periodic solids. To this end, multiple-scales asymptotic approach is applied to the scalar wave equation (describing anti-plane shear motion) in one and two spatial dimensions. In contrast to previous studies where the second-order homogenization has lead to the introduction of a single fourth-order derivative in the governing equation, present investigation demonstrates that such (asymptotic) approach results in a family of field equations uniting spatial, temporal, and mixed fourth-order derivatives - that jointly control incipient wave dispersion. Given the consequent freedom in selecting the affiliated lengthscale parameters, the notion of an optimal asymptotic model is next considered in a one-dimensional setting via its ability to capture the salient features of wave propagation within the first Brillouin zone, including the onset and magnitude of the phononic band gap. In the context of two-dimensional wave propagation, on the other hand, the asymptotic analysis is first established in a general setting, exposing the constant shear modulus as sufficient condition under which the second-order approximation of a bi-periodic elastic solid is both isotropic and limited to even-order derivatives. On adopting a chessboard-like periodic structure (with contrasts in both modulus and mass density) as a testbed for in-depth analytical treatment, it is next shown that the second-order approximation of germane wave motion is governed by a family fourth-order differential equations that: (i) entail exclusively even-order derivatives and homogenization coefficients that depend explicitly on the contrast in mass density; (ii) describe anisotropic wave dispersion characterized by the "sin4θ+cos4θ" term, and (iii) include the asymptotic model for a square lattice of circular inclusions as degenerate case. For completeness, the analysis is illustrated by a set of numerical results highlighting the effects of periodic structure on the long-wavelength material response in terms of wave dispersion, phononic band gap, and second-order anisotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2614
Pages (from-to)382-414
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
StatePublished - May 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Chessboard material
  • Dispersion
  • Phononic band gap
  • Second-order anisotropy
  • Second-order homogenization
  • Waves in periodic media


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