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Capillary-Gravity Waves

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Kalin Dragnevski.

It is generally believed that in order to generate waves, a small object (like an insect) moving at the air-water surface must exceed the minimum capillary-gravity wave speed (about 23 centimeters per second). We have shown recently that this result is only valid for a rectilinear uniform motion, an assumption often overlooked in the literature. In the case of a steady circular motion (a situation of particular importance for the study of whirligig beetles), we demonstrate that no such velocity threshold exists and that even at small velocities a finite wave drag is experienced by the object. This wave drag originates from the emission of a spiral-like wave pattern. It would be very interesting to know if whirligig beetles can take advantage of such spirals for echolocation purposes.

This talk is part of the BSS Formal Seminars series.

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