I Looking for specific anecdote on math of rogue waves

  • Thread starter phinds
  • Start date
I read something several years ago and I would like to know if anyone here can help me identify where it came from. I've searched the Internet in vain. Lots of math / rogue wave articles but no hint of any such anecdote.

Using my own language, since I don't recall the specifics of the anecdote, just the thrust of it, in brief:

Math guy visits acquaintance at science lab (possibly NOAA), sees graph posted on wall, and asks "why on Earth do you have on your wall an exact graph of this abstract math equation that I happen to be studying right now?". Reply: "No idea what you are talking about; that's an empirical graph of rogue wave data".

Anyone recall anything like this?


EDIT: I THINK there was more in the story about how this led to some fruitful explorations of math for rogue waves but my recollection of that is fuzzy so did not include it in description of anecdote.


Insights Author
2018 Award
Could it be in the context of: (found on Wikipedia)

To explain monster waves, complex models are necessary. For example, Alfred Osborne, Professor of Physics at the University of Turin, first applied the quantum mechanical Schrodinger equation in 1965 to describe the nonlinear propagation of ocean waves. According to these equations, the monster wave is more likely to be accidental due to instabilities of the waves by locally extracting energy from its surrounding waves and thereby becoming much higher than the surrounding waves. His early work has received little attention from oceanographers. Osborne rejected this calculation method - until 1995, a single wave was recorded on the oil drilling platform Draupner-E in the North Sea, which had met exactly Osborn's predictions. The nonlinearity of water waves has since been recognized and has been taken into account by shipbuilders since about 2001.
Yes that is exactly what the video doc says. He got the drainer wave chart and it matched his theoretical charts.
Sounds like a very likely source of my recollections. Thanks very much, guys.
Now we know you've been around in the UK since 2003 :-)
OK, I watched the video and while it's not quite a match for my recollection of the anecdote, I'm really sure that the flaw is in my recollection and this has to be the source of what I recall. Thanks again.

Getting it a bit wrong doesn't surprise me because as I often tell people, I have a mind like a steel trap and a memory like an elephant, but I do keep forgetting where I left the peanuts.
I've had that issue too. Each time you recall something from memory its read and rewritten and at that moment, false memories can be inserted.


In one NOVA episode, a person traumatized by spiders was injected with a drug that interfered with memory formation and that helped them overcome the fear. In keeping with this notion, I can't recall the episode or if it was NOVa or whether it was a snake and not a spider but you get the general idea right?


Want to reply to this thread?

"Looking for specific anecdote on math of rogue waves" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Top Threads