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Science of wakes!

  1. Jun 8, 2012 #1
    we all know wakes are very much undesirable. Also, wakes are of generally very low pressure region. Why is is so? Discussions are welcome
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  3. Jun 8, 2012 #2


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    kundukoustav, we all do not know wakes are very much undesirable. Will you please say why they are?

    I see plenty of ship wakes while exploring on Google Earth. (Try in the Suez Canal, for example...there are some great ship wake examples to see.) I can't understand why you say they are "of generally very low pressure region". How can that be? Will you please explain that for me also? Thank you.
  4. Jun 8, 2012 #3
    Consider a car moving! check the drag force (pressure drag) of air on the car! You will get the idea!
  5. Jun 8, 2012 #4


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    The wake behind a moving ship is more than hydrodynamic drag. That's not a sufficient description of the wake-forming mechanism.
  6. Jun 8, 2012 #5


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    This is not always true. Wakes generated in a plasma are now being used to generate high gradients as part of a research for the next generation of particle accelerators.


    Other groups are using wakefields generated in metallic and dielectric structures.

  7. Jun 8, 2012 #6


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    A wake (from a boat and probably from any other source too) is surely a wave. The energy in it takes a long time to dispel because, once it has settled down, it has a straight wave front. Until it comes to a discontinuity (shallow water) it hardly disperses at all. It represents a huge proportion of the ship's engine output, I think.
  8. Jun 8, 2012 #7


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    kundukoustav, You must have noticed by now there are several kinds of wakes. The wakefield accelerator has great promise. From your mistaken comparison with aerodynamic drag on a car I am assuming you are referring to boat or ship wakes.

    "Wake pattern of a boat:
    Waterfowls and boats moving across the surface of water produce a wake pattern, first explained mathematically by Lord Kelvin and known today as the Kelvin wake pattern. This pattern consists of two wake lines that form the arms of a V, with the source of the wake at the point. Each wake line is offset from the path of the wake source by around 19° and is made up with feathery wavelets that are angled at roughly 53° to the path. The interior of the V is filled with transverse curved waves, each of which is an arc of a circle centered at a point lying on the path at a distance twice that of the arc to the wake source."

    For a more detailed analysis of steel ship wakes see:
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