Considering all systems in which waves can exist, from atomic scale (such as DeBroglie Waves for example) to cosmic scale (gravitational waves for example), and those that require media for transport (sound waves for example) and those that don't (electromagnetic for example) is there a list of essential factors that determine when a wave can exist/or not?
Many textbooks/online references describe what a wave is, but I've never seen any literature that address this question over all systems. In my thinking waves are an expression of energy flowing through time and space. So after some thought I'm thinking that waves (of any nature) can exist if:
- there is some source of available energy
- there is some region of space (or matter) for the energy to propagate, and
- there is some means for the energy to change form/state as it propagates through space (or matter)
Can the list be as short and simple as this, or are there deeper factors to consider?