Educational objectives

Wave turbulence is a statistical state that aims at describing the nonlinear random ensemble of waves as commonly observed at the surface of the ocean. A theoretical framework called "Weak Turbulence" exists since the 1960's to describe the weakly non linear case. Whether the Weak Turbulence Theory can describe a real system is still the object of investigation.


Here we will rather study a solid system supporting elastic waves: the vibrating elastic plate or actually a gong ! The rich and peculiar sound of a gong is due to the nonlinear transfer of energy from the modes excited usually at rather low frequency to high frequency ones: the famous cascade of energy of turbulence !


In this lab course we will introduce a profilometry method based on high speed imaging that allows us to record the vibrations of the gong  with both space and time resolution and thus study in depth the properties of the sound of the gong.


This lab-course is well suited to M1 and M2 students having a background in continuum mechanics (solid mechanics or fluid mechanics) with very basic knowledge in statistical Fourier analysis.

Module 1: Experimental investigations of the statistical properties of a vibrating plate

Observing the deformation using high speed imaging and analysing the statistical properties of wave turbulence

4 hrs lab course

Teachers: Nicolas Mordant & Géraldine Davis

Module 2: Numerical simulation of the vibrating plate

Going further in the observations thanks to simulation

4 hrs lab course

Teacher: Nicolas Mordant & Géraldine Davis


Nicolas Mordant


Géraldine Davis



This lab-course is hosted in the laboratory LEGI located at 2011 rue de la piscine on the campus