Special Interest Group in Wave Turbulence

EPSRC-Funded UK Fluids Network


Leader: Dr Jason Laurie (Aston University)
Co-Leader: Dr Davide Proment (University of East Anglia)


The Wave Turbulence Special Interest Group (SIG) will focus on the development of wave turbulence theory - a non-equilibrium statistical mechanics description of weakly interacting dispersive waves – to strong nonlinearities and applications to industrial related fluid dynamics. Topics range from acoustics, water waves, nonlinear optics, quantum fluids, plasmas, and geophysical turbulence.

The overall scope of the Wave Turbulence SIG is to bring together UK fluid dynamicists, both theoretical and experimental, who work in areas of nonlinear waves, coherent structures, and turbulence, with the aim of actively targeting two goals:

  • A theoretical extension of the existing wave turbulence theory framework in order to incorporate the creation, dynamics, and annihilation of long-lived coherent structures. This would broaden the limits of validity of the theory and allow application of the approach to many more physical systems characterised by states that are go beyond weak nonlinearity. Any breakthrough in this direction, in any of the fields outlined above, will have a significant, long-term, impact because it will allow for a better understanding of strong turbulence effects.
  • The creation of links with UK research institutions outside academia and industrial partners that might be interested in applying wave turbulence approaches or results in real- world technologies. Efforts in this direction will create short-term technological impact within this research field.

The SIG provides a pathway to achieving these objects by supplying a platform for encouraging academic and industrial collaborations. At the core of the SIG, is the idea of working jointly with experimentalist whose fundamental objectives are understanding the dynamics of waves in strong turbulence, whether in hydrodynamics, optics, or plasmas. Through these close collaborations, it is envisioned that the incorporation of strong nonlinearities in wave turbulence approaches will be accelerated, leading to a completely novel perspective in studying fully developed turbulence. This ambitious goal is hoped to generate excitement in non-academic research institutions and industry, who will be specifically targeted by the SIG for both research and funding collaborations.

The proposed structure of the SIG is to run biannual meetings for the various UK experimentalists and theorists working within the wave turbulence paradigm, with the desire of promoting and developing the field through targeted goals stated above. There is currently no regular meeting that brings together these interdisciplinary researchers under this scope to address future theoretical and experimental challenges, nor a specific wave turbulence group within the UK that promotes its application in technologies. Ultimately, the Wave Turbulence SIG is a first attempt to unite the community and establish a coherent future direction for the subject.

Past Meetings

  • Theoretical Challenges in Wave Turbulence
    When: Monday 8th May 2017, 13:15-18:00 – Tuesday 9th May 2017, 09:00-13:00
    Where: Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK
  • Wave Turbulence in Nonlinear Optics, BECs, and Related Areas
    When: Monday 11th December 2017, 13:00-18:00 – Tuesday 12th December 2017, 09:00-13:00
    Where: School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK
  • Chasing Tornadoes: Vorticity Above, Below, and in the Lab
    When: Monday 9th April 2018, 13:00-18:00 – Wednesday 11th April 2018, 09:00-15:00
    Where: School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE1 7RU, UK
  • Waves, Coherent Structures, and Turbulence
    When: Wednesday 30th October 2019 – Friday 1st November 2019
    Where: School of Mathematics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK