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Non-specular reflection of walking droplets

  • Giuseppe Pucci (a1) (a2), Pedro J. Sáenz (a1), Luiz M. Faria (a1) and John W. M. Bush (a1)

Since their discovery by Yves Couder and Emmanuel Fort, droplets walking on a vibrating liquid bath have attracted considerable attention because they unexpectedly exhibit certain features reminiscent of quantum particles. While the behaviour of walking droplets in unbounded geometries has to a large extent been rationalized theoretically, no such rationale exists for their behaviour in the presence of boundaries, as arises in a number of key quantum analogue systems. We here present the results of a combined experimental and theoretical study of the interaction of walking droplets with a submerged planar barrier. Droplets exhibit non-specular reflection, with a small range of reflection angles that is only weakly dependent on the system parameters, including the angle of incidence. The observed behaviour is captured by simulations based on a theoretical model that treats the boundaries as regions of reduced wave speed, and rationalized in terms of momentum considerations.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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