Knots in chaotic waves

July 29, 2016, University of Bristol
Tangled quantum vortices. Each vortex line is shaded in a different color, and may be knotted or linked with the others. Credit: School of Physics / University of Bristol

New research, using computer models of wave chaos, has shown that three-dimensional tangled vortex filaments can in fact be knotted in many highly complex ways.

The computer experiments, by academics at the University of Bristol, give rise to a huge variety of different knots, realising many that have been tabulated by pure mathematicians working in the field of knot theory.

Waves surround us all the time: sound in the noise around us, enabling us to see, and according to quantum mechanics, all matter has a wave nature. Most of these waves, however, do not resemble the regular train of waves at the shore of the ocean—the pattern is much more chaotic. Most significantly, the whirls and eddies form lines in space called vortices. Along these lines, the wave intensity is zero, and natural wave fields - light, sound and quantum matter - are filled with a dense tangle of these null filaments.

Mark Dennis, Professor of Theoretical Physics in the School of Physics, said: "Although the computer models were framed in the language of quantum waves, these results are expected to be completely general, suggesting a new understanding of the complexity of the three-dimensional optical and acoustic landscapes that surround us every day."

More than 40 years ago, Bristol physicians Professor Sir Michael Berry and Professor John Nye discovered vortices were originally understood to be a crucial part of wave phenomena.

This work is part of the Scientific Properties of Complex Knots (SPOCK) project, a collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Durham. The aim of the project is to create new computational tools and mathematical techniques for the analysis, synthesis and exploitation of knotted structures in a wide range of complex physical phenomena.

The research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is published today in Nature Communications.

Explore further: 'Exceptional points' give rise to counterintuitive physical effects

More information: 'Vortex knots in tangled quantum eigenfunctions' by Alexander J Taylor and Mark R Dennis, Nature Communications, 2016. … ull/ncomms12346.html

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Jul 29, 2016
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Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Jul 30, 2016
the above idea sounds quite dense aetheric for me...
but then again, you tend to think everything sounds "quite dense aetheric" [sic]

in fact, you've spread the "quite dense aetheric"[sic] pseudoscience all over the net

you've even managed to find a non-existent correlation in climate change when you can't even prove "quite dense aetheric"[sic] even exists, since it's falsified by the evidence

so it's not surprising you see "quite dense aetheric"[sic] in everything
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 30, 2016
Worth following the link to the article; Nature has it unpaywalled at the moment.
3 / 5 (4) Jul 30, 2016
Hi CapS. :)

Mate, how long are you going to keep up your ignorant rants and insults against him?

He speaks to the topic in science terms; whereas your post does not even acknowledge that his many posts in the past on these vortices aspects were spot on.

As is now being increasingly confirmed by more serious attention and investigation and experiments/hypotheses in the mainstream science community.

So give him a break, mate, from your relentless ignorant blizzard of personal/political motivated science-empty and insulting posts which clutter up and create animosity in many of the otherwise most interesting 'cutting edge' topics/discussions.

He may not be right on all matters, but try to be generous and objective enough to acknowledge when he is right on a/some matters.

Try it, mate. It's only fair.

Otherwise you'll keep giving 'mainstreamers' here a bad reputation for scientifically irrelevant bias and subjectivity against all the best principles of science. Ok? :)

Captain Stumpy
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 30, 2016
Hi CapS


baiting trolling comment
3 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2016
Hi Forum. :)

Just picture it; a man on his death bed; his friends/family gather round to hear his last words before expiring; they ask him what he thought about his life and those with whom he shared it; he gathers what remains of his life force and breath; and he croaks out one last...

What an epic Epitaph that would make for the man's grave stone or cremation-urn plaque, hey?

PS: Sorry. No offense meant. It was just a joke observation on the predictability of certain lame 'tactics' that have been overused and worn out at PO by certain people. Again, my apologies if anyone has taken offense at my humorously intended aside. It's just that I awoke in a quirky-humorous frame of mind this morning. But don't worry, I'll soon be my old overly-serious-self again after my second cup of coffee! :)

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