From coherent shocklets to giant collective incoherent shock waves in nonlocal turbulent flows

G. Xu, David Emanuel Frank Vocke, Daniele Franco Angelo Faccio, J. Garnier, Thomas Roger, S. Trillo, A. Picozzi

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Understanding turbulent flows arising from random dispersive waves that interact strongly through nonlinearities is a challenging issue in physics. Here we report the observation of a novel characteristic transition: Strengthening the nonlocal character of the nonlinear response, drives the system from a fully turbulent regime featuring a sea of coherent small-scale dispersive shock-waves (‘shocklets’) towards the unexpected emergence of a giant collective incoherent shock wave. The front of such global incoherent shock carries most of the stochastic fluctuations and is responsible for a peculiar folding of the local spectrum. Nonlinear optics experiments performed in a solution of graphene nano-flakes clearly highlight this remarkable transition. Our observations shed new light on the role of long-range interactions in strongly nonlinear wave systems operating far from thermodynamic equilibrium, which reveals analogies with, e.g., gravitational systems, and establishes a new scenario that can be common to many turbulent flows in photonic quantum fluids, hydrodynamics and Bose-Einstein condensates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8131
JournalNature Communications
Early online date8 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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