What is it about?

We corral dispersive water waves through a tight channel using a periodic array of aluminium tubes. Despite our crystalline medium containing gaps, we manage to create a highly efficient waveguide by leveraging abstract mathematical concepts that range from group theory (the study of symmetries and patterns) to topological phases of matter (Nobel Prize winning area).

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Why is it important?

A fundamental understanding of the manipulation and channelling of wave energy underpins advances in all of wave physics. Many of the crystals used to control energy have been designed in the honeycomb geometry, similar to the structure of graphene (recipient of 2010 Nobel Prize) and solely for non-dispersive waves. Here we depart from the mainstream and demonstrate how you can efficiently guide highly-dispersive waves using a square crystalline array. These results offer up a tangible route to water wave energy harvesting.


The broadband nature of the effect and the nie-on identical results between the simulations and experiments, for this ordinarily complex system, is significant.

Mehul Makwana
Imperial College London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Experimental observations of topologically guided water waves within non-hexagonal structures, Applied Physics Letters, March 2020, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/1.5141850.
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