An experiment which discussed the appearance of an internal wave attractor in a uniformly stratified, free-surface fluid [Maas, L.R.M., Benielli, D., Sommeria, J., Lam, F.-P.A., 1997. Observation of an internal wave attractor in a confined, stably stratified fluid. Nature 388(6642), 557–561] is revisited. This is done in order to give a more detailed and more accurate description of the underlying focusing process. Evolution of the attractor can now be quantified. For the tank with one sloping sidewall, and for the parameter regime (density stratification, forcing frequency) studied, the inverse exponential growth rate determined at several locations in the fluid turns out to be 122 s always. Only the start and duration of the growth differed: away from the attractor region it appeared later and of shorter duration. Here, these features are interpreted by employing a new theoretical basis that incorporates an external forcing via a surface boundary condition (an infinitesimal barotropic seiche) and that describes the solution in terms of propagating waves
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