Researchers have discovered a new type of gravity wave, one that is shaped like a star. Such bizarre waves result from a property called nonlinearity, in which a small or simple change results in a disproportionately large or complex effect. For instance, aspects of weather behave chaotically, in a nonlinear manner.
Star-shaped waves can form in vibrating tanks of liquid oil, researchers say.
Learning more about such bizarre waves could shed light on counterparts that may exist elsewhere in nature, researchers added.
Waves of all kinds often behave in an intuitively linear manner. For instance, a weight on a spring will bob up and down in a manner directly proportional to the force that the weight exerts on the spring.
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