Introduction to focus issue on hydrodynamic quantum analogs

John W.M. Bush, Yves Couder, Tristan Gilet, Paul A. Milewski, André Nachbin

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Hydrodynamic quantum analogs is a nascent field initiated in 2005 by the discovery of a hydrodynamic pilot-wave system [Y. Couder, S. Protière, E. Fort, and A. Boudaoud, Nature 437, 208 (2005)]. The system consists of a millimetric droplet self-propeling along the surface of a vibrating bath through a resonant interaction with its own wave field [J. W. M. Bush, Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 47, 269-292 (2015)]. There are three critical ingredients for the quantum like-behavior. The first is “path memory” [A. Eddi, E. Sultan, J. Moukhtar, E. Fort, M. Rossi, and Y. Couder, J. Fluid Mech. 675, 433-463 (2011)], which renders the system non-Markovian: the instantaneous wave force acting on the droplet depends explicitly on its past. The second is the resonance condition between droplet and wave that ensures a highly structured monochromatic pilot wave field that imposes an effective potential on the walking droplet, resulting in preferred, quantized states. The third ingredient is chaos, which in several systems is characterized by unpredictable switching between unstable periodic orbits. This focus issue is devoted to recent studies of and relating to pilot-wave hydrodynamics, a field that attempts to answer the following simple but provocative question: Might deterministic chaotic pilot-wave dynamics underlie quantum statistics?

Original languageEnglish
Article number096001
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Early online date27 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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