Scarred patterns in surface waves
Physical review. E, Statistical physics, plasmas, fluids, and related interdisciplinary topics
Surface wave patterns are investigated experimentally in a system geometry that has become a paradigm of quantum chaos: the stadium billiard. Linear waves in bounded geometries for which classical ray trajectories are chaotic are known to give rise to scarred patterns. Here, we utilize parametrically forced surface waves (Faraday waves), which become progressively nonlinear beyond the wave instability threshold, to investigate the subtle interplay between boundaries and nonlinearity. Only a
... nearity. Only a subset (three main types) of the computed linear modes of the stadium are observed in a systematic scan. These correspond to modes in which the wave amplitudes are strongly enhanced along paths corresponding to certain periodic ray orbits. Many other modes are found to be suppressed, in general agreement with a prediction by Agam and Altshuler based on boundary dissipation and the Lyapunov exponent of the associated orbit. Spatially asymmetric or disordered (but time-independent) patterns are also found even near onset. As the driving acceleration is increased, the time-independent scarred patterns persist, but in some cases transitions between modes are noted. The onset of spatiotemporal chaos at higher forcing amplitude often involves a nonperiodic oscillation between spatially ordered and disordered states. We characterize this phenomenon using the concept of pattern entropy. The rate of change of the patterns is found to be reduced as the state passes temporarily near the ordered configurations of lower entropy. We also report complex but highly symmetric (time-independent) patterns far above onset in the regime that is normally chaotic.