Wave turbulence

Alan C. Newell, Benno Rumpf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


In this article, we state and review the premises on which a successful asymptotic closure of the moment equations of wave turbulence is based, describe how and why this closure obtains, and examine the nature of solutions of the kinetic equation. We discuss obstacles that limit the theory's validity and suggest how the theory might then be modified. We also compare the experimental evidence with the theory's predictions in a range of applications. Finally, and most importantly, we suggest open challenges and encourage the reader to apply and explore wave turbulence with confidence. The narrative is terse but, we hope, delivered at a speed more akin to the crisp pace of a Hemingway story than the wordjumblingtumbling rate of a Joycean novel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-78
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 21 2011


  • Kolmogorov-Zakharov spectra
  • experimental evidence
  • natural statistical closures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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