We show that phase space methods developed for quantum mechanics, such as the Wigner distribution, can be effectively used to study the evolution of nonstationary noise in dispersive media. We formulate the issue in terms of modes and show how modes evolve and how they are effected by sources.We show that each mode satisfies a Schrödinger type equation where the “Hamiltonian” may not be Hermitian. The Hamiltonian operator corresponds to dispersion relationwhere thewavenumber is replaced by the wavenumber operator. A complex dispersion relation corresponds to a non Hermitian operator and indicates that we have attenuation. A number of examples are given.
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