Observation of Intermittency in Wave Turbulence

E. Falcon1,*, S. Fauve1 and C. Laroche2
1LPS, ENS Paris, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75 005 Paris, France
2Laboratoire de Physique, ENS Lyon, CNRS, 69 007 Lyon, France
*Permanent address: MSC, Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, CNRS, 75 013 Paris, France


Physical Review Letters 98, 154501 (2007)

URL: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v98/e154501
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.154501


We report the observation of intermittency in gravity-capillary wave turbulence on the surface of mercury. We measure the temporal fluctuations of surface wave amplitude at a given location. We show that the shape of the probability density function of the local slope increments of the surface waves strongly changes across the time scales. The related structure functions and the flatness are found to be power laws of the time scale on more than one decade. The exponents of these power laws increase nonlinearly with the order of the structure function. All these observations show the intermittent nature of the increments of the local slope in wave turbulence. We discuss the possible origin of this intermittency.

Keywords : 
wave turbulence – intermittency - structure functions - surface wave - gravity waves – capillary waves – Kolmogorov type spectrum – experiment – probability density function - fluctuations - Non Gaussian statistics - energy flux - injected power - weak turbulence

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