Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Superwalkers: A new innovation in the field of quantum mechanics and classical physics

Aug 01, 2019 10:30 AM EDT

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A team of researchers led by Rahil Valani and Anja Slim at Monash University and Tapio Simula at Swinburne University of Technology introduced another information about the superwalkers which opens a new door in the field of research focused on quantum mechanics and classical physics.

The behaviors of superwalkers were observed when a container of silicone oil or other liquid that possesses the same properties is shaken vertically at a regular frequency. A one millimeter sized droplet of the same liquid was placed on the liquid's surface, the droplet seemed to walk across the surface with a speed of 1cm per second. In the recent study of Valani, they found out that the walking droplet can be much larger (2.8 mm in diameter) and at the same time can be faster (5cm per second) than the previous one. The new observation has never been seen and surprisingly includes novel synchronized movements.

The superwalkers behavior which exists only at the atomic scale can be explained by the two major field of science (quantum mechanincs and classical physics). Behaviors include tunneling, quantized orbits, and correlations among multiple droplets which are a combination of both particle and a wave, according to Phys. 

"Superwalkers open a new world to explore within the research area of walking droplets that have shown exotic behaviors," said Simula.

In their experiment, the researchers observed that when the droplets were placed in the liquid surface and shaken with a corresponding frequencies of 80 Hz and 40 Hz, the droplets become superwalkers. The superwalkers possess large inertia due to their large size, thus, helps them in overcoming the wave barrier that prevents the walkers from coming in contact with each other.  With this, they are capable of strongly interacting together due to overlapping wave fields.

They tend to behave as chasers (where small superwalkers chase after the large ones) and sometimes forms long trains under the said condition. However, sometimes they form promenading pairs (which they walk side by side, bouncing off each other). Other behaviors include orbiting each other just like stars or reverse their orbiting if one superwalker is larger than the other, which is said to be a unique and novel feature of it, according to Phys

Moreover, other unique behaviors can also be observed. For example, the superwalkers take a crystal configuration when there is a low driving amplitudes of 40 Hz. When the amplitude is further increase they jiggle and lose their crystal structure and bounce off each other. When the frequency is detuning to 39.5 Hz, the superwalkers exhibit a synchronized stop-and-go movement wherein they walk with each other and then stop and walk again at the same time. This is due to the phase difference between the two frequencies.

"These walking droplets form a fascination dynamical system where the droplet on each bounce creates a wave around itself, and these waves in turn guide the motion of the droplet, resulting in a moving wave-particle entity. The walkers have been shown to mimic several quantum features, and it will be interesting to explore how superwalkers behave in such experiments," concluded Valani. 

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