Imaging of Intermittency in Ripple-Wave Turbulence

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Science  28 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5343, pp. 1609-1612
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5343.1609

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The dynamics of a fluid surface filled with high-amplitude ripples were studied with a technique (diffusing light photography) that resolves the height at all locations instantaneously. Even when nonlinearities are strong enough to generate a (Kolmogorov) cascade from long wavelength (where energy is input) to shorter wavelength, the resulting turbulent state contains large coherent spatial structures. The appearance of these structures in a thermal equilibrium state (with the same average energy) would be highly improbable.

  • * Present address: Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.

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