Phase Jumps

  • M. S. Howe


An earlier paper (Howe 1967) considered a non-linear theory of open-channel steady flow of deep water past a slowly modulated wavy wall. The wave pattern on the free surface of the water was obtained as the solution of a stably posed elliptic Cauchy problem, the main feature of the solution being the appearance of a ‘shock’ across which there is an abrupt change of phase. Such phase jumps can occur in a wide range of similar problems, but the advantage of the present case is that it is rather well suited to experimental investigation. This paper is therefore a lead-in to the more general problem of phase jumps, and uses the principle of conservation of energy in conjunction with the earlier solution to predict the possible position of the discontinuity on the free surface of the water. The possible nature of the free surface in the vicinity of the phase jump is also discussed (figure 4). This is a region where the width of the wave troughs becomes dramatically shorter than that of the neighbouring troughs. An approximate method of determining the line along which the phase jump occurs, not depending on a knowledge of the solution of the Cauchy problem, is also presented.


Free Surface Dispersion Equation Wave Train Output Curve Wave Pattern 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. S. Howe

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