Researchers involved : Konstantinos Papatryfonos, John Bush, André Nachbin, Mélanie Ruelle, Corentin Bourdiol.
A series of ground-braking experiments performed at 2005 showed that millimetric liquid drops can self-propel along the surface of a vibrating fluid bath, by virtue of a resonant interaction with their own wave field. Even more, they demonstrated a version of the famous single-particle diffraction experiment, where one droplet at a time passed through a single or a double slit. The resulting statistical behaviour for successive drops revealed the emergence of wavelike diffraction (single slit) and interference patterns (double slit), a feature previously thought to be exclusive to the microscopic quantum realm. Following investigations established hydrodynamic analogs of many more quantum phenomena with this system, including tunneling, quantized orbits, orbital level splitting, spin states, and more. As of yet, an analog of quantum entanglement remains elusive, but very recent results pave the way in that direction. EnHydro aims to establish entanglement measures in pilot-wave hydrodynamics through experiments with droplets confined to separate wells and their theoretical rationalization.
Experiments to test Bell’s inequalities in this particle-wave-particle system are envisioned as well. Furthermore, physical
analogies with quantum entanglement and with theories proposed to rationalize quantum phenomena at the atomic level will be investigated. The originality of this project also lies in its multidisciplinary character and the complementarity of two worldleading research groups in interrelating approaches. It combines a major experimental component using the state-of-the-art set-up available at MIT, with pioneering mathematical algorithms recently developed at ESPCI. The novelty of the proposed research is that it will extend the range of behaviours accessible to classical systems. It will demonstrate how two (otherwise) non-interacting particles (droplets) can communicate through fields of standing waves, which is an extremely novel communication protocol.
Fundings : This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 841417”.