Physics of Surfing - SIO 87



Wednesday 5:00-5:50 PM Munk Conference Rm. Scripps Inst. of Oceanography

(See map on how to get to the Munk Conference Rm.  There is a UCSD Shuttle bus that runs untill 9 PM.)


David Sandwell  -  Scripps Inst. Of Oceanography Ð

Stefan Llewellyn Smith Ð Dept. of Mech. and Aerospace Eng. - -


This 1 credit freshman seminar will cover three topics in physics related to surfing:  generation, propagation, and breaking of waves; the energetics of a surfer riding a wave; and the fluid mechanics of a surfboard.  There will be at least one lab on the SIO pier.  Prerequisite:  Some physics or calculus.






01 OCT


Tour of Scripps

Read Ch. 8 of Oceanography - Waves and Water Dynamics p. 236-253


Llewellyn Smith

08 OCT

Wave generation, propagation, and refraction


HW 1.

Ch. 8, problems 5, 9, 12, 16


15 OCT

Lab 1:  Measure wave period, experiment with accelerometer

hand in HW 1


22 OCT


Dynamics of the surf zone

hand in Exercises1
read about linear acceleration


25 OCT

Scripps Open House

(optional wave experiment 8:30 AM near pier)

optional surf lessons 10 AM - 3 PM


29 OCT

Optional class fire!!

Lab 2:  Measure linear and harmonic accelerations



05 NOV

Energetics of surfing

hand in Lab 1.

read about harmonic oscillator


12 NOV

Fluid mechanics of a surfboard

intro. fluid mechanics reading

Llewellyn Smith

16 NOV

(optional wave-riding experiment, 8:30 AM near SIO pier)



19 NOV

Lab 2:  Measure linear and harmonic accelerations



Llewellyn Smith

26 NOV

No Class



03 DEC

Student presentations/pizza

hand in Lab 2.

present results from labs and experiments


Llewellyn Smith