Bouncing droplets: A classroom experiment to visualize wave-particle duality on the macroscopic level

Cornelis Pascal Sleutel, E. Dietrich, Jan T. Van Der Veen, Wouter R. Van Joolingen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study brings a recently discovered macroscopic phenomenon with wave-particle characteristics into the classroom. The system consists of a liquid droplet levitating over a vertically shaken liquid pool. The droplets allow visualization of a wave-particle system in a directly observable way. We show how to interpret this macroscopic phenomenon and how to set up and carry out this experiment. A class of students performed single slit diffraction experiments with droplets. By scoring individual droplet trajectories students find a diffraction pattern. This pilot application in the classroom shows that students can study and discuss the wave-particle nature of the bouncing droplet experiment. The experiment therefore provides a useful opportunity to show wave-particle behavior on the macroscopic level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number055706
JournalEuropean journal of physics
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • classroom experiment
  • diffraction
  • droplets
  • walkers
  • wave-particle duality

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