Smythe, William R. Formerly, Department of Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
- Additional Readings
Any law in which a physical quantity varies with distance from a source inversely as the square of that distance. When energy is being radiated by a point source (see illustration), such a law holds, provided the space between source and receiver is filled with a nondissipative, homogeneous, isotropic, unbounded medium. All unbounded waves become spherical at distances r, which are large compared with source dimensions so that the angular intensity distribution on the expanding wave surface, whose area is proportional to r2, is fixed. Hence emerges the inverse-square law.
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