Capillary wave turbulence on a spherical fluid surface in low gravity

C. Falcón1, E. Falcon2,*, U. Bortolozzo1,2 and S. Fauve1
1LPS, ENS Paris, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75 005 Paris, France
2MSC, Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, CNRS, 75 013 Paris, France
Corresponding author

Reference:  EPL 86, 14002 (2009)

DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/14002


We report the observation of capillary wave turbulence on the surface of a fluid layer in a low-gravity environment. In such conditions, the fluid covers all the internal surface of the spherical container that is submitted to random forcing. The surface wave amplitude displays power law spectrum over two decades in frequency, corresponding to wavelength from millimeters to a few centimeters. This spectrum is found in roughly good agreement with wave turbulence theory. Such a large-scale observation without gravity waves has never been reached during ground experiments. When the forcing is periodic, two-dimensional spherical patterns are observed on the fluid surface such as subharmonic stripes or hexagons with wavelength satisfying the capillary wave dispersion relation.

Keywords : wave turbulence - surface wave – capillary waves - zero gravity – Kolmogorov type spectrum – experiment - pattern - weak turbulence

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