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Is it possible to create a SINGLE circular wave?

  1. May 13, 2012 #1
    Just thinking, when you drop a single drop of water into a body of water you get ripples, not a single ripple. That's because the water at the contact point goes up and down. Is it possible to create a single circular wave? That will make it easier to observe the behavior of a single wave in a ripple tank, without being confused by interference.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2012 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    No. But almost. It would be very complicated to make since it would have to be a combinations of a very large number of frequencies. But you could, technically, create a wave that had one very large peak followed by very, very small peaks.

  4. May 13, 2012 #3

    Jano L.

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    Here is what comes to me as a possible way.

    Take a circular disk with a little ring attached to it at the center, so you can pull the disk by the ring.

    Now put the disk on a still water. Pull the disk a little bit so it lifts slightly, while still being in contact with the water (due to surface tension). Now release the disk suddenly. The rim of the disk will initiate a circular wave and it is possible that its front would be thin, as the water under disk can't wave afterwards.

    I haven't tried it, it's just a guess, but I think up to 75% it may work.

    One problem is, that even if this method worked, unless one created a really big splash like tsunami, the wave would have thin front only in the first instant, and will spread afterwards into broad waves afterwards.
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