New research, using computer models of wave chaos, has shown that three-dimensional tangled vortex filaments can in fact be knotted in many highly complex ways.
The computer experiments, by academics at the University of Bristol, give rise to a huge variety of different knots, realising many that have been tabulated by pure mathematicians working in the field of knot theory.
Tangled quantum vortices. Each vortex line is shaded in a different color, and may be knotted or linked with the others.
Credit: School of Physics © University of Bristol
Waves surround us all the time: sound waves in the noise around us, light waves enabling us to see, and according to quantum mechanics, all matter has a wave nature. Most of these waves, however, do not resemble the regular train of waves at the shore of the ocean -- the pattern is much more chaotic.
Most significantly, the whirls and eddies form lines in space called vortices. Along these lines, the wave intensity is zero, and natural wave fields - light, sound and quantum matter - are filled with a dense tangle of these null filaments.
Mark Dennis, Professor of Theoretical Physics in the School of Physics, said: "Although the computer models were framed in the language of quantum waves, these results are expected to be completely general, suggesting a new understanding of the complexity of the three-dimensional optical and acoustic landscapes that surround us every day."
More than 40 years ago, Bristol physicians Professor Sir Michael Berry and Professor John Nye discovered vortices were originally understood to be a crucial part of wave phenomena.
This work is part of the Scientific Properties of Complex Knots (SPOCK) project, a collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Durham. The aim of the project is to create new computational tools and mathematical techniques for the analysis, synthesis and exploitation of knotted structures in a wide range of complex physical phenomena.
The research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is published today in Nature Communications.
'Vortex knots in tangled quantum eigenfunctions' by Alexander J Taylor and Mark R Dennis in Nature Communications
Joanne Fryer | EurekAlert!
Tune your radio: galaxies sing while forming stars
21.02.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
17.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News