The propagation of non-linear deformation waves in a dissipativc medium is described by a unified asymptotic theory, making use of wave front kinematics and the concepts of progressive waves. The mathematical models are derived from the theories of thermoclasticity or viscoclasticity taking into account the geometric and physical non-linearities and dispersion. On the basis of eikonal equations for the associated linear problem the transport equations of the nth order are obtained. In the multidimensional case the method of matched separation of initial equations is proposed. The interaction problems which occur in head-on collisions and in reflection from boundaries or interfaces are analyzed. Conditions are also studied when the interaction of non-linear waves does not take place. The inverse problem of determining materials properties according to pulse shape changes is discussed. © 1977.
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