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Waves are Wavy

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On Saturday it was very wavy out on lake, like 6 ft waves out there. It was pretty scary being out there thinking that your boat could be capsized by some monster waves. And I was thinking, why was it so wavy? It must have had something to do with the sudden change of the weather, right? Well, waves, as we know, are not the traveling of matter, but energy through a medium. So, the water is not being transferred, but energy is being transferred though the water. This energy actually, like most things on the Earth, comes from the sun. This sounds pretty weird, at least it did to me, but waves start from wind and wind is created by the uneven heating of the Earth by the sun, so waves are just... solar energy? Yeah that makes sense. The amount of energy put into a wave is determined the same way the amount of energy put into any object would be determined. The speed of the force on the water, and the duration of that force. The faster the wind is moving and the longer it is acting on the water, the bigger the wave will be. This makes sense because it was also very windy on Saturday. So, the air was moving from an area of low energy (the cold air over the lake), to an area of higher energy, probably because of that heat wave that just left us. And that energy from the wind was transferred into the water, creating the giant waves, pretty cool.

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Waves are like people, turbulent, transitory and aimless. Such is the nature of man, I suppose, and such is the vast separateness of a chaotic sea.

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There is a very interesting phenomena I saw in a video recently where olive oil is used to calm a lake's surface. It works on the principle that the oil thinly coats the lake's surface and the wind does not have the same amount of "grip" on the surface as it would water due to a lack of friction. The result is a calm lake under windy skies.




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