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A decade ago, Yves Couder and coworkers 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 propel themselves by virtue of a resonant interaction with their own wavefield, and so represent 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 in turn reveal and rationalize the emergence of quantization and quantum-like statistics from pilot-wave dynamics in a number of settings. The relation between this hydrodynamic system and various realist models of quantum dynamics is discussed.
Bio: John Bush received his B.Sc in physics in 1986 and M.Sc in geophysics in 1988 from the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. in geophysics from Harvard University in 1993. He pursued postdoctoral research at DAMTP, University of Cambridge from 1993 to 1997. He joined the MIT faculty in applied mathematics in January 1998, was promoted to associate professor in 2002, tenured in 2004 and promoted to full professor in 2009. He currently directs the Applied Math Laboratory. Professor Bush is a fluid dynamicist who has worked on geophysical and environmental flows, but now focuses on surface tension-driven phenomena, their applications in biology, and hydrodynamic quantum analogs. He is a frequent winner at the Gallery of Fluid Motion of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics. He received an NSF Career Award in 2002, and in 2003 was selected by the department as the initial holder of the Edward F. Kelly Research Award. He was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2009.