Volume 86, Number 1, April 2009
Article Number 14002
Number of page(s) 5
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 14 April 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 14002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/14002

Capillary wave turbulence on a spherical fluid surface in low gravity

C. Falcón1, E. Falcon2, U. Bortolozzo1, 2 and S. Fauve1

1   Laboratoire de Physique Statistique (LPS), École Normale Supérieure, CNRS - UMR 8550 24, rue Lhomond, 75 005 Paris, France, EU
2   Laboratoire Matière et Systèmes Complexes (MSC), Université Paris Diderot, CNRS - UMR 7057 10 rue A. Domon & L. Duquet, 75 013 Paris, France, EU

received 11 February 2009; accepted in final form 10 March 2009; published April 2009
published online 14 April 2009

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.

47.35.Pq - Capillary waves.
47.52.+j - Chaos in fluid dynamics.
81.70.Ha - Testing in microgravity environments.

© EPLA 2009