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Mathematical Physics Seminar

Hydrodynamic quantum analogs

John Bush - MIT

Location:  Hill Center Room 425
Date & time: Thursday, 29 September 2022 at 2:00PM - 3:00PM

In 2005, Yves Couder and Emmanuel Fort discovered that droplets walking on a vibrating fluid bath exhibit several features previously thought to be exclusive to the microscopic, quantum realm. These walking droplets are inarguably an example of wave-particle duality on the macrocopic scale; moreover, they are the first macroscopic realization of a pilot-wave system of the form proposed for microscopic quantum dynamics by Louis de Broglie in the 1920s. New experimental and theoretical results allow us to explore its potential and limitations as a quantum analog. A generalized pilot-wave framework is developed with a view to capturing additional quantum-like features inaccessible to the hydrodynamic system, and to forging links with existing quantum pilot-wave theories. A fledgling, trajectory-based description of quantum dynamics, informed by the hydrodynamic system, is explored. Particular attention is given to illustrating how the non-Markovian droplet dynamics may give rise to features that might be misinferred as being nonlocal.