Royal Society Publishing

An Experimental Study of the Pressure Variations in Standing Water Waves

R. I. B. Cooper, M. S. Longuet-Higgins


Although the first-order pressure variations in surface waves on water are known to decrease exponentially downwards, it has recently been shown theoretically that in a standing wave there should be some second-order terms which are unattenuated with depth. The present paper describes experiments which verify the existence of pressure variations of this type in waves of period 0$\cdot $45 to 0$\cdot $50 sec. When the motion consists of two progressive waves of equal wave-length travelling in opposite directions, the amplitude of the unattenuated pressure variations is found to be proportional to the product of the wave amplitudes. This property is used to determine the coefficient of reflexion from a sloping plane barrier.

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