Hiding From Waves

Ocean waves can be dangerous for boats, particularly when operating near off-shore platforms. But a new study, inspired by electromagnetic waveguides, demonstrates a lab-scale water waveguide capable of damping out a range of waves experienced by any ship inside its protected area. The water waveguide sits below the surface, changing the water depth and therefore the propagation of surface waves. 

When properly positioned, the waveguide nearly eliminates wave motion in a protected channel. You can see this in the right image, where waves are clearly present in the foreground but the toy boat hardly moves. Contrast this with the image on the left, where the boat bobs and rocks under the same wave conditions without the waveguide. The researchers hope their waveguide concept can help protect ships in wharves and harbors soon. (Image and research credit: S. Zou et al.; via APS Physics; submitted by Kam-Yung Soh)

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