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Machine that can shape water Answered

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The National Maritime Research Institute of Japan has a machine that can create shapes in the water such as hearts and stars. That's just the small one. The larger machine can make much bigger collisions between waves. There's some research around safety here to merit such a large setup, but I'm just happy with the splashes and the over-the-top reactions of the reporters. Always fun to see them shout "sugoi!" and "waaaaaaa!" over and over.

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16 Replies

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drakesword (author)2010-07-15

Id like to be in the big one right at the center. Would be an awesome attraction for a water park.

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Plasmana (author)2010-06-23

How is the water shaped? Waves, magnetic field?

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cbmassie (author)Plasmana2010-06-23

Waves. The outside of each of the pools has a series of paddles that form the waves in a precise manner to make the shapes. Basically, their computers are able to calculate how the waves will amplify and cancel each other based on the shape of the pool and the period of the waves. If they were able to make larger scale wave makers along the coast of japan or other tsunami-prone areas, they might be able to at least weaken tsunamis approaching land. (Theoretically, at least.)

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Plasmana (author)cbmassie2010-07-02

That is really interesting. Also, two waves opposing each other will weaken them both? I thought waves just pass through each other with no problem..

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cbmassie (author)Plasmana2010-07-02

My understanding of waves is that if two waves of the same amplitude (height) traveling in opposite directions (towards each other) meet each other, they will cancel each other out. If they strike each other at an angle other than perpendicular, there will be some cancellation and some diffusion, or redirection of the waves. Anyone else want to chime in on wave physics? Mine I admit is probably a little rusty. :)

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denswei (author)2010-06-24

Money well spent! We already have large buildings with large tanks of water for simulating waves, this just looks like the next generation of wave simulators. Rogue waves is one research area, not to create them, but to understand them (not much is known about them). Since rogue waves form from the interaction of normal waves, one needs a way to precisely create wave forms. Likewise for tsunamis & other ocean phenomena, and for testing ship, drilling platform, coastal, etc designs--how they perform vs ocean waves. How a drilling platform holds up against a heart shaped wave is just one application ... ;-)

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Zinventor (author)2010-06-22

@nickodemus You were looking for a purpose for these machines? how about studying http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_wave :-) especially in Japan, as they are an island country, where waves have a much larger effect.

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jrh065 (author)Zinventor2010-06-23

They could also send "rogue waves" to other places that weren't playing nice :)

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walllm (author)2010-06-23

I hope they are actually working in the anti-tsunami wave.

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CameronSS (author)2010-06-23

I love the guy giving them the tour, his expression during the demo of the large one is brilliant. The reporters are screaming after it just made a wave explode, and he's just standing there with a smile of, "Yes, I'm that awesome, I just made that happen."

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cbmassie (author)2010-06-22

I'm guessing they might be able to either mitigate or stop a Tsunami with such installations along the coast. Of course, that'd be on a much larger scale, but a neat idea!

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Arano (author)2010-06-22

i wonder if it is possible to use the bigger one as some kind of display to uhm.... play space invaders?

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TheFoofinator (author)2010-06-22

This can help the maritmie industry, this technology is utilised in a replacement for propellors 'shaping' the water to move it along

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nickodemus (author)2010-06-22

Interesting, but right now I can't think of any immediate purpose...


Maybe if they made one for moving oil...

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kcls (author)2010-06-22

So they have whole buildings there that are just filled with machines that shape water?

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Kiteman (author)2010-06-22