Analysis of Bloch formalism in undamped and damped periodic structures
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Bloch analysis was originally developed by Felix Bloch to solve Schrödinger's equation for the electron wave function in a periodic potential field, such as that found in a pristine crystalline solid. His method has since been adapted to study elastic wave propagation in periodic structures. The absence of a rigorous mathematical analysis of the approach, as applied to periodic structures, has resulted in mistreatment of internal forces and misapplication to nonlinear media. In this thesis, we detail a mathematical basis for Bloch analysis and thereby shed important light on the proper application of the technique. We show conclusively that translational invariance is not a proper justification for invoking the existence of a "propagation constant," and that in nonlinear media this results in a flawed analysis. Next, we propose a general framework for applying Bloch analysis in damped systems and investigate the effect of damping on dispersion curves. In the context of Schrödinger's equation, damping is absent and energy is conserved. In the damped setting, application of Bloch analysis is not straight-forward and requires additional considerations in order to obtain valid results. Results are presented in which the approach is applied to example structures. These results reveal that damping may introduce wavenumber band gaps and bending of dispersion curves such that two or more temporal frequencies exist for each dispersion curve and wavenumber. We close the thesis by deriving conditions which predict the number of wavevectors at each frequency in a dispersion relation. This has important implications for the number of nearest neighbor interactions that must be included in a model in order to obtain dispersion predictions which match experiment.