Shape of ripple on water

  • #1
Why are ripples on water only circular in shape? Why arent they of the shape of the object dropped in them? Like triangular or square?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Tide
Science Advisor
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The ripples are not circular - right near the disturbance! They only become approximately circular in the far field where the distance from the disturbance and the dominant wavelengths are large compared with the size of the disturbing object.
 
  • #3
Does surface tension play any part in the process of ripple formation?
 
  • #4
48
0
the circular shape is the most fundamental shape in the universe, because it can distribute the force evenly...
 
  • #5
Mk
1,984
3
zhen said:
the circular shape is the most fundamental shape in the universe
Or is it the sphere?
 
Last edited:
  • #6
Claude Bile
Science Advisor
1,471
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Diffraction effects tend to 'iron out' small features one might find in a wavefront. As the distance from the object becomes large, the object looks increasingly like a point object, and thus at large enough distances, the diffraction pattern becomes circular.

Claude.
 

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