Unsteady dynamics of a classical particle-wave entity

Rahil N. Valani, Anja C. Slim, David M. Paganin, Tapio P. Simula, Theodore Vo

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14 Citations (Scopus)


A droplet bouncing on the surface of a vertically vibrating liquid bath can walk horizontally, guided by the waves it generates on each impact. This results in a self-propelled classical particle-wave entity. By using a one-dimensional theoretical pilot-wave model with a generalized wave form, we investigate the dynamics of this particle-wave entity. We employ different spatial wave forms to understand the role played by both wave oscillations and spatial wave decay in the walking dynamics. We observe steady walking motion as well as unsteady motions such as oscillating walking, self-trapped oscillations, and irregular walking. We explore the dynamical and statistical aspects of irregular walking and show an equivalence between the droplet dynamics and the Lorenz system, as well as making connections with the Langevin equation and deterministic diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015106
Number of pages16
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

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