First interested in pattern formation through his experimental work on Rayleigh-Bénard convection during his PhD, Patrice le Gal was then especially interested in the formation and the interaction of Von Karman wakes and also in the instabilities of the Ekman boundary layer over rotating disks. He has published more than 70 research articles in fluid mechanics: on convective patterns, wakes, turbulence, rotating boundary layer instabilities, plankton bioluminescence and more recently on the elliptic instability. He is currently involved in experiments on stratified and rotating flows: strato-rotational instability, internal wave generation, wave breaking, vortex formation. All of these flows have applications in geo and astrophysics. Recently he developed several art-science projects in collaboration with J. Tejerina-Risso who is a video artist.
Abstract: WAVES is an Art-Science project to install videos, images and multimedia performances based on the visualization of water surface waves. We work at IRPHE (Institut de Recherche sur les Phénomènes Hors Equilibre) in Marseille for designing experiments to produce hydrodynamic waves. We aim to study the behavior of different types of waves and their evolution: generation, breaking, focussing. We present here the general property of waves to focus when properly generated or reflected. Using a parabolicaly shaped wave maker, we focus water waves in a region of the water surface classically called the Huygens Cusp in optics. At this cusp, the amplitude of the waves is increased by focusing and this leads to their breaking which is a typical property of water surface waves. We record these breakings using a fast video camera at a rate of 2000 images per second. A novel and spectacular vision of water wave breakings is obtained when playing these movies at slow speed.
Monday, November 26th, 4pm
This event is FREE and open to the public.