Is it possible to create a SINGLE circular wave?

1. May 13, 2012

titaniumpen

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. May 13, 2012

Andrew Mason

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.

AM

3. May 13, 2012

Jano L.

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.