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Tag archives: angles

Reawakening the Kelvin wake

Wake pattern

Wake angles: the black dashed line shows the outer edge of the wake and is at the angle predicted by Lord Kelvin. The red line shows the maximum amplitude of the wake and is at the angle predicted by Marc Rabaud and Frédéric Moisy. (Courtesy: A Darmon, M Benzaquen, E Raphaël)

By Hamish Johnston

Loyal readers may recall that earlier this year we published a news article entitled “Physicists rethink celebrated Kelvin wake pattern for ships” that reported on work done by two French physicists. While looking at Google Earth images of ships moving through the sea, Marc Rabaud and Frédéric Moisy noticed that some of the wakes did not conform to a prediction made years ago by Lord Kelvin, the renowned Victorian physicist, engineer and entrepreneur.


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