Particle trajectories in nonlinear capillary waves

S. J. Hogan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The particle trajectories of nonlinear capillary waves are derived. The properties of the surface and subsurface particles are presented in exact analytic form, up to and including the highest wave. It is found that the orbits of the steeper waves are neither circular nor closed. For the highest wave, a particle moves through a distance [X] equal to 7.99556λ in one orbit, where λ is the wavelength. It moves with an average horizontal drift velocity U equal to 0.88883c, where c is the phase speed of the wave. In addition, the subsurface particles (at depths nearly three quarters that of the wavelength) move at speeds up to one tenth that of surface particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


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