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A macroscopic type of wave-particle duality

MSC : Yves Couder, Antonin Eddi, Julien Moukhtar

Collaborations : Emmanuel Fort (MPQ)

A droplet can bounce indefinitely on a vibrated liquid interface. Near the Faraday instability threshold, the drop becomes coupled to the surface waves it excites. It thus becomes a self-propelled "walker", a symbiotic object formed by the droplet and its associated wave. Through several experiments we address one question: how can a continuous and spatially extended wave have a common dynamics with a localized and discrete droplet? The experiments show, in this macroscopic system, behaviours having strong analogies with quantum mechanics. For instance, an uncertainty of the particle motion appears when the wave is diffracted. When the walker is forced into orbiting, the possible orbits are quantized. These effects can be ascribed to a wave-mediated “path-memory“.

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COUDER Yves, EDDI Antonin, MOUKHTAR Julien

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