Wave turbulence

The classical theory of (eddy) turbulence, based on our physical understanding of the Navier-Stokes equations, falls short when applied to systems composed of waves, a fundamental ingredient commonly found in nature. For this reason, wave turbulence has become a major topic in the field of turbulence, where substantial progress has been made over the last two decades. This advancement encompasses laboratory experiments, observations, numerical simulations, and mathematical theories. Wave turbulence studies now extend across a variety of physical domains, including oceanography (surface waves, internal gravity waves), atmospheric dynamics (inertial waves, Rossby waves), astrophysics/cosmology (plasma waves, gravitational waves), mechanics (elastic waves) and quantum physics (Kelvin waves). On the one hand, these waves, spanning from atomic to cosmic scales, share common properties that can be explored using unified concepts. On the other hand, wave turbulence can exhibit both weak and strong regimes, sometimes coexisting: addressing this variety of regimes constitutes fundamental challenges at both theoretical and observational levels.


  • Sébastien Galtier
  • Jason Laurie
  • Giorgio Krstulovic
  • Simon Thalabard


Any inquiry, please write to



Les Houches school of physics

Simons Foundation

Université Côte d'Azur