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The Australian National University

Peter Evans: "What can bouncing oil droplets tell us about quantum mechanics?"

Date and time

Thu, 14/09/2017 - 15:30 - 17:30


Coombs Seminar Room A

A recent series of experiments from a team in Paris have demonstrated that an oil droplet bouncing on a vibrating fluid surface displays behaviour that is typically considered to be quantum behaviour. The suggestion has been made that this fluid mechanical system provides a single particle classical model of the pilot wave mechanism of the de Broglie-Bohm theory of quantum mechanics: the wave on the fluid surface acts as a pilot wave that guides the behaviour of the oil droplet in analogy to the way in which the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave guides the behaviour of the quantum particle configuration. In this talk I assess the possibility, using recent work on analogue simulation, that these experiments are telling us something substantial about quantum mechanics.

Updated: 7 September 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher