Faculty Publications

Title

Fluid viscosity and the attenuation of surface waves: A derivation based on conservation of energy

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

European Journal of Physics

Volume

25

Issue

1

First Page

115

Last Page

122

Abstract

More than a century ago, Stokes (1819-1903) pointed out that the attenuation of surface waves could be exploited to measure viscosity. This paper provides the link between fluid viscosity and the attenuation of surface waves by invoking the conservation of energy. First we calculate the power loss per unit area due to viscous dissipation. Next we calculate the power loss per unit area as manifested in the decay of the wave amplitude. By equating these two quantities, we derive the relationship between the fluid viscosity and the decay coefficient of the surface waves in a transparent way.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2004

DOI of published version

10.1088/0143-0807/25/1/014

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