Observation of depression solitary

surface waves on a thin fluid layer

E. Falcon1, C. Laroche1 and S. Fauve 2

 1: Laboratoire de Physique, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon,
    46 allée d'Italie, 69364 Lyon cedex 07, France

 2: Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, École Normale Supérieure,
    24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris cedex 05, France


Physical Review Letters 89, 204501 (2002)


We report the observation of  depression solitary surface waves on a layer of mercury when its depth is thin enough compared to the capillary length. These waves, as well as the well known elevation solitary waves, are studied with a new measurement technique using inductive sensors. The shape of the solitary waves, their amplitude-dependent velocity and their damping rates by viscosity, are found in good agreement with theoretical predictions.


47.35.+i, 92.10.Hm, 47.20.Ky, 68.03.Cd

 PDF file

See also Press items about: our works on depression solitary surface waves : Phys. Rev. Focus, 29 Oct. 2002 & Pour La Science, Feb. 2003.

Keywords: hump solitary waves ; hole solitary waves ; focusing ; defocusing ; non linear ; dispersion relation ; surface wave ; experiment ; solitary hole ; KdV; Korteweg : de Vries ; Russell ; soliton ; hydrodynamic

See also other publications (in French)