A wave equation including nonlinear terms up to the second order for a thermoviscous Newtonian fluid is proposed. In the lossless case this equation results from an expansion to third order of the Lagrangian for the fundamental non-dissipative fluid dynamical equations. Thus it preserves the Hamiltonian structure, in contrast to the Kuznetsov equation, a model often used in nonlinear acoustics. An exact traveling wave front solution is derived from a generalized traveling wave assumption for the velocity potential. Numerical studies of the evolution of a number of arbitrary initial conditions as well as head-on colliding and confluent wave fronts exhibit several nonlinear interaction phenomena. These include wave fronts of changed velocity and amplitude along with the emergence of rarefaction waves. An analysis using the continuity of the solutions as well as the boundary conditions is proposed. The dynamics of the rarefaction wave is approximated by a collective coordinate approach in the energy balance equation. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
- Wave fronts
- Collective coordinate approach
- Traveling wave analysis
- Rarefaction waves
- The Kuznetsov equation