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Published by: captnathan on Jan 24, 2011
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TROCHOIDAL WAVE THEORY Trochoidal Wave Theory.

All the observed phenomena of ocean waves, that is, waves in deep water, fit in so well with the trochoidal wave theory that this theory is generally accepted. It is assumed that the waves traverse an ocean of unlimited extent and the depth of water in relation to the dimensions of the wave is sufficiently great for this also to be assumed unlimited. It will be seen later that the depth of water at which wave motion is practically negligible is comparatively small. Sometimes these ideal conditions are fulfilled in ocean waves, but generally several series of waves are superimposed on one another often in different directions, the result being a confused sea. It is necessary in considering the subject to assume a single series of waves. A trochoid is the curve traced out by a point inside a circle when the circle is rolled along a straight line, and if the circle is below the line it will be found that the resulting curve is sharper at the crest than at the trough (Fig).

If the radius of the rolling circle is R and the circle rolls along the line N0N, the velocity of the centre of the circle being V, and the radius of the point P within the circle being r, then P traces out a curve which is a trochoid. The length from crest to crest L=2irR, and the height from crest to trough H=2r. In Fig. 6.1 00P0 is the initial position, and 0 is the angle turned through when the centre of the circle arrives at 0, and the radius at OP. Then 000=R0, and if we take the origin at P0, the axis of x as horizontal, and the axis of y as vertical, then the co-ordinates of P are given by x=RΘ—r sinΘ = L /2Π Θ - H/2 sin Θ (1) y=r-rcosΘ = H/2 - H/2_cos Θ (2) As P moves along it revolves about the instantaneous centre N, so that PN is normal to the surface of the trochoid at P. If v=velocitY of P ω =angular velocity of OP

y being measured from some datum line and δy being as shown. For the trochoids below the surface the crests and troughS must be in the same vertical line as at the surface. If v is the velocity at P and e the breadth of the stream.it can be shown that v = P N x dΘ / dt = nω For proof of this v² = (dx/dt)² + (dΘ/dt)² = {(R-rcsΘ)² + r² sin²Θ } (dΘ /dt)² = (TN² + PT² ) x (dΘ / dt)² = PN² ( dΘ / dt)² v = PN x dΘ / dt Sub_TrOCh0Ids. then the quantity of water passing will equal v x e. and this must be constant all along the stream and since ω is uniform. They are all of the same length and described by the same diameter of rolling circle. Since v = nω. and for two consecutive trochoid surfaces the distance y between the lines of orbit centres will be the same as the distance between the rolling lines. and the lines of orbit centres through 0 and 0’. ). There fore ne=constant (4) . Then for continuity it is necessary that the water shall continually fill the space between the two trochoids. The variation will be in the position of the rolling line and in the length of the radius arm OP. The radius arm r will diminish as depth is increased. It can be shown that: r = r0 e –r/R Where r0 = radius of surface trochoid radius And R = L / 2Π Let the two adjacent trochoidS be those through P and P’ (Fig. we have quantity of water passing=new. the rolling lines being through N and N’.


long and 40 ft.e. distances below the centres of the rolling circle of the surface trochoid. All such points as P revolving in circular orbits will give a wave a velocity V.Thus for successive values of y. i. and at a -depth of 600 ft.. We can turn the motion of the rolling circle into a wave formation by impressing on the whole a backward velocity V (see Fig. the formation travelling with Then the point 0 is fixed and points as P revolve with aconstant angular velocity w. Wave Formation. the diameter of the orbit is negligible. high. we can obtain successive values of r. ). It will be found that at a depth of 400 ft. formation. . the diameter of the orbit is only about 7 in. and it is found that r rapidly decreases with the depth Take a wave 600 ft.

Let OO be the line of orbit centres. There may be of course a bodily drift of the whole mass of water due to tides. which will travel along the rope.. The turning of the rolling circle movement into a wave formation by impressing on it a constant velocity does not afTcct any of the dynamical relations into which we shall have to inquire. i.e. Line of Orbit Centres in Relation to Still Water Level. . Fig. which is a motion on which the wave formation will be superimposed. A wave is the passage of motion and the actual movement of the water is small. and LL a line such that the area of the half trochoid P’P”’M equals the area LLP’M. it being the wave form which moves along. while it is evident that the rope itself does not travel. If a piece of wood be observed floating on a wave it will be seen to oscillate about a mean position all the while the wave is rapidly moving on. Waves may be created in a rope.The particles in the crest will move in the same direction as the wave advance and particles in the trough in the opposite direction. LL will be the level of still water.

water. and consequently the righting moment at any angle of inclination is less on the crest than in still water. because the particles are acted upon by f instead of the real gravity g. f changes in magnitude and direction all along the wave.4 200 32.2 400 45. .1sec 100 22. high the variation is from 084g in the crest to 115g in the trough.7 13. is liable to be blown over to a large angle and possibly capsize.This gives the speed of the wave in foot second units. being always perpendicular to the surface of the trochoid. The wind moment causing heel is not affected. of sufficient stiffness in smooth water.5 3.3 26. This normal at any particular instant is termed the virtual upright Length in speedin speed period(time the feet feetpersecond kts length is travelled 50 16.5 1000 71. is liable The virtual gravity will act at right angles to the wave slope.8 600 55.8L or V1=l. long and 30 ft. The increment of pressure from one trochoidal surface to the next is the same as the increment between the corresponding layers in still water.8 Variation of Pressure in a Wave. and a small raft will always tend to set itself normal to the wave surface.0 19. For a wave 600 ft. This s the explanation of the welt-known phenomenon of the tenderness of sailing boats on the crest of a wave. For the speed in knots we have: V12=1.8 8.34√L (10) f in (8) is termed the virtual gravity..0 19.9 12. The virtual weight is less than the actual.4 14. and thus on the crest of a wave a boat. The apparent or virtual weight of a body of mass m floating on the surface of a wave therefore varies from mgx{(R-r)/R} at the crest to mgx{ (R+r)/r} in the trough.8 10.0 9.0 2000 101.5 60.6 42. 32.0 6.4 4.8 800 641 37.

Therefore the pressure at any point in a trochoidal wave is the same as at the corresponding point in still water. on each of the sub-surfaces the pressure is constant. ): . That is to say. the water must be a solid mass with no cavities. If the pressure on the upper face is p. For the fluid filaments between adjacent trochoids we not only have to satisfy the condition of continuity but also the condition of lateral equilibrium. ne =conStant. then: and since . i.ne is constant along the stream the increment of pressure δ p is also constant. The area of a trochoidal strip corresponding to lines of rolling circles δy apart is obtained as follows (see Fig.e. For continuity. Take a small cylinder between adjacent trochoidS (Fig. and the trochoidal strip is capable of forming a stream of continuous flow. and on the lower face p+δp. of cross section∞ . since the pressure on the surface is constant. ). as already seen.

Energy stored up in a Wave. which is potential energy. The particles of a wave are revolving in circular orbits each with a linear velocity ω r. Kinetic energy of a particle s ½ (W/g) ne dΘ ω² r² . It can be shown that the total energy per unit breadth of the wave is (1/8)wLH2. and the energy due to this motion is kinetic energy. for: 1. The particles are also lifted above the level they occupied in still water. and for the ship WΠ ne (r²/ R) . Kinetic energy. The centre of gravity of a trochoidal strip is in the line of orbit centres.

Potential energy = W 2Π ne ( r² /2R) = WΠ ne (r²/ R) from (7) So that nergy of strip is half potential and half kinetic and equals = 2 WΠ ne (r²/ R) Substituting for ne = rδr + Rδy .Since ω² = (g/ R) 2.

. however. Water. It can be shown that the motion in oscillatory waves in a perfect fluid cannot be generated from rest. offering no resistance whatever to change of shape.e. without viscosity. but the theory fits in so well with all the observed facts that it is generally accepted.The trochoidal wave theory as developed above assumes that the fluid is perfects i. so that the theory fails to represent the actual motion. is not a perfect fluid.

A position is taken up amidships in the ship so that when the ship is in the trough and upright. distance between observing stations on the ship. To find the height. Let V be the speed of the ship. then V in the above is changed to — V.5). then: L=(V cos Θ+V1)t’ =l x (t’/t) x cos Θ If the ship is steaming away from the wave advance. The speed of ship in direction of wave advance is V cos Θ. The height of the observer’s eye above the water-line is then the height of the wave. . L ..Observations on Waves to determine the velocity. . and height. To find the velocity and length (Fig. length. and speed of ship relative to wave advance is V cos Θ+V1. then: t = (I cos Θ I(V cosΘ+V1) and V1={ (1—Vt)/t} cosΘ If t’ be the time interval between successive crests as observed at the bow or stern positions perpendicular to the wave advance... . I . 6. length of wave (crest to crest). speed of the waves. Such a method is inevitably liable to considerable inaccuracy.. successive crests appear to form a chain reaching towards the horizon. If t is the time interval of a wave crest as observed at the bow and stern positions perpendicular to wave advance.. Θ be the angle of ship with the wave advance.. This is more difficult. . V1 .

Principal Formulae in Trochoidal Wave Theory. The following are the principal formulae arising out of the trochoidal wave theory: L=2ΠR r0= H/2 V1² = 1.44 √ L Height of centre of orbits of given particle above the level of that particle in still water= r²/2R’. and that the standard ratio of L÷H =2O usually used for poising a ship on a wave for strength calculations cannot fairly be applied to ships longer than about 470 ft.3) (y/R) T = 0. For the the wave surface this distance= ΠH²/ 4L Virtual gravity at crest ={ (R-r) / R} x g Virtual gravity at trough = {(R+r)/R} x g Where L = length of wave in ft H = height of wave T = peridic time in seconds V1 = velocity of waves in knots R = radius of rolling circle in feet Ro = radius of tracing arm in at surface R = radius of tracing arm at depth y Y = depth of line of orbit centres from that line for the surface trochoid G = acceleration due to gravity in foot second units .8L r=r0e –Y/R log10 r=log10 r0 – (1 /2.It is seen that as the length of wave increases the ratio L÷H increases.

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