Solitary waves called solitons are one of the most puzzling curiosities of nature. As they travel, these waves maintain their shape and energy instead of dispersing or dissipating. The new study was published by a team of physicists, mathematicians and engineers in the PRL (Physical Review Letters). It uncovers the 50-year-old puzzle connected with these enigmatic entities.
In 1965, two physicists- Martin Kruskal and Norman Zabusky came up with a mathematical model that describes the behavior of these waves. However, its limitation was that its calculations were complex, and required the use of computers. Further, the original wave pattern described by these scientists has never been reproducible.
Researchers- Biodini and Deng generated a simple theoretical explanation for the issue. Their colleagues in Japan and Europe worked it out in the real-world experiments. They published their work cumulatively.
Miguel Onorato, the University of Turin and Steafano Trillo, the University of Ferrara, headed the team which conducted experiments with a computer-assisted wave generator in a water tank of 110 meter length in Berlin. The wave patterns produced resembled well with the predictions of Biondini and Deng, and included the descriptions of Zabusky and Kruskal.