Hydrodynamic X Waves.
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Stationary wave groups exist in a range of nonlinear dispersive media, including optics, Bose-Einstein condensates, plasma, and hydrodynamics. We report experimental observations of nonlinear surface gravity X waves, i.e., X-shaped wave envelopes that propagate over long distances with constant form. These can be described by the 2D+1 nonlinear Schrödinger equation, which predicts a balance between dispersion and diffraction when the envelope (the arms of the X) travel at ±arctan(1/sqrt)≈±35.26° to the carrier wave. Our findings may help improve understanding the lifetime of extremes in directional seas and motivate further studies in other nonlinear dispersive media.
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