Focusing ocean waves for power and mondo surf

October 12, 2005

A new water lens may allow engineers to focus ocean waves. Focusing water waves could potentially enhance the output of wave-powered energy generation schemes, protect ocean front real estate from wave damage, and even amplify waves for surfing and other seaside recreation activities.

Researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology showed that it would be possible to make a lens from an array of vertical cylinders secured below the water, which focus small ocean waves into larger ones.

The researchers reached their conclusions by simulating the propagation of water waves through an array of ocean bottom-mounted cylinders. By varying the size and spacing of the cylinders, they showed that they could control the reflection, transmission and direction of the water waves through the array, in much the same way that mirrors and glass lenses control light.

Xinhua Hu and C. T. Chan
Physical Review Letters 95, 154501 (2005)
link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v95/e154501

Source: American Physical Society

Explore further: Warming seas and melting ice sheets

Related Stories

What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

August 27, 2015

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal ...

The gas giant Jupiter

August 26, 2015

Ever since the invention of the telescope four hundred years ago, astronomers have been fascinated by the gas giant known as Jupiter. Between it's constant, swirling clouds, its many, many moons, and its red spot, there are ...

Debut of the global mix-master

August 25, 2015

Trekking across the high Canadian Arctic almost 20 years ago, Howie Scher had an unexpected encounter that helped fix the course of his career.

Recommended for you

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.