Is This What Quantum Mechanics Looks Like?

  • Published on Nov 2, 2016
  • Silicone oil droplets provide a physical realization of pilot wave theories.
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    The standard theory of quantum mechanics leaves a bit to be desired. As Richard Feynman put it, "I think I can safely say that no one understands quantum mechanics." This is because observations of experiments have led us to a theory that contradicts common sense. The wave function contains all the information that is knowable about a particle, yet it can only be used to calculate probabilities of where a particle will likely turn up. It can't give us an actual account of where the particle went or where it will be at some later time.
    Some have suggested that this theory is incomplete. Maybe something is going on beneath the radar of standard quantum theory and somehow producing the appearance of randomness and uncertainty without actually being random or uncertain. Theories of this sort are called hidden variable theories because they propose entities that aren't observable. One such theory is pilot wave theory, first proposed by de Broglie, but later developed by Bohm. The idea here is that a particle oscillates, creating a wave. It then interacts with the wave and this complex interaction determines its motion.
    Experiments using silicone oil droplets on a vibrating bath provide a remarkable physical realization of pilot wave theories. They give us a physical picture of what the quantum world might look like if this is what's going on - and this theory is still deterministic. The particle is never in two places at once and there is no randomness.
    Edited by Robert Dahlem
    Sound design by A Shell in the Pit

Comments • 7 955

  • My NewPhone
    My NewPhone 6 hours ago

    They do not exhibit quantum behavior. We interpret it as such and we explain it through the horseshit we made up called quantum mechanics. There are no such thing. Its all made up.

  • GarlicReturns
    GarlicReturns 13 hours ago

    With this model, does it means that during the Quantum eraser experiment the pilot wave is basically somehow "erased" (without any way of acknowledging it it since it's not measurable ) ?

  • TheMyrkiriad
    TheMyrkiriad 18 hours ago

    I had the greatest mind blow watching this video.

  • Ass ho
    Ass ho 20 hours ago

    is this guy the same from Angry picnic channel?

  • OmG _
    OmG _ Day ago

    Maybe if someone thinks long enough, we'll have a no go theorem demonstrating that all interpretations don't represent reality

  • Peter Kamau
    Peter Kamau Day ago

    But the pilot wave theory assumes that you can observe both wave and particle before they go through the slit when in fact we are told that before they go through the slit they are particles?

  • DiNiS Rei dos Botoes

    Pilot waves definitely!!!

  • Michael Wolf
    Michael Wolf 2 days ago

    Fascinating! Thanks!

  • Sven
    Sven 2 days ago

    If this was analogy of what is happening in quantum interactions, particularly in double-slit experiment, how would it explain the wave-particle duality and the observer phenomenon? What I mean is the disappearance of the interference pattern during measurement. Here you can obviously measure (see) which slit the droplet went through, but still you get some sort of interference pattern.

    • Sven
      Sven 2 days ago

      @Martin Pavlíček I mean we are talking about electrons being fired through slits, and physicists have pretty good idea of how electrons interact and decay into other particles. That's my understanding at least, I'm not a physicist, just like to research this stuff as a hobby

    • Sven
      Sven 2 days ago

      @Martin Pavlíček Alright, but that is quite a big assumption for a theory which is already full of them. If I understand correctly, we can already measure pretty much any fluctuation in quantum fields, so whatever remnants of wave may exist, it should not escape modern detectors unless you are introducing some new unknown particles

    • Martin Pavlíček
      Martin Pavlíček 2 days ago

      Maybe the measurment creates strong wave and remanants of the wave from droplet before it got through slits are too weak to significantly affect the droplet. But the effect could be still there just extremly small, we could measure if there is not some minor remanant of interferance pattern in the noise or we could try to predict what would come up from experiment in the case of measurment if pilot wave was real.

  • Jeff J
    Jeff J 3 days ago +2

    My god! I finally get Quantum mechanics, @3:20, I saw a man who is bold and not bold at the same time!

  • Edin743
    Edin743 5 days ago

    As someone who plays videogames this seems like a glitch to me

    • Edin743
      Edin743 5 days ago

      Like, it seriously feels like this shouldn't be happening

  • Andres Daniel Official

    Bro on god I got no clue what this nigga said the whole video

  • muhtasim rabib
    muhtasim rabib 7 days ago

    Its not Debrolie its said as Debroy

  • Steam Juggler
    Steam Juggler 8 days ago


  • Gustavo Martinez
    Gustavo Martinez 8 days ago


  • TS Lee
    TS Lee 8 days ago

    The wave characteristics of the droplet is stored in the silicone oil sheet, giving it a particle-wave duality behaviour. In quantum mechanics, is the wave information stored in a disturbed space in a quantum world? So when we try to observe the quantum particle, we destroy the wave information (ie like stopping the bouncing of the droplet) and only particle characteristic remains (ie like the droplet will move following its last velocity vector in the 2D space parallel to the silicone oil surface).

  • Science Guy
    Science Guy 10 days ago

    Pilot wave but only because my limited brain can only take so much reality restructuring

  • Rob Ott
    Rob Ott 11 days ago

    Entaglement is very elegantly explained by Pilot Wave to me - I'm no physicist but think about it...
    Imagine the entangled particles just ride and can ONLY ride on the opposite amplitude of the pilot wave. And pilot waves can only carry passengers on opposite amplitudes.
    Being entangled just means that two particles are riding the same wave just "oppositely"? And they can be displaced great distances (that is D = n x wavelength to keep 'em out of phase). All requirements of QM are met! I think.
    No spooky action at a distance.

  • Frail Grandmaa
    Frail Grandmaa 11 days ago

    Assuming this interpretation of the theory is correct, how does this affect or change the reality of quantum computing?

    • Frail Grandmaa
      Frail Grandmaa 4 days ago

      @CDO Doesn't Quantum computing rely on superposition to make computations quickly? Pilot wave theory says there is no superposition and that the particle has a definite position, but it is nearly impossible to calculate the position at any given time

    • CDO
      CDO 4 days ago

      It doesn't. They are entirely unconnected.

  • David Wood
    David Wood 11 days ago +1

    Thank you! This is an awesome didactic explanation.

  • Cubic Ralsei
    Cubic Ralsei 13 days ago

    Actually, quantum mechanics forbids this.

  • 티미티비 TimmyTV
    티미티비 TimmyTV 14 days ago

    Why was I not taught this in school?

  • some body
    some body 14 days ago

    Now, what is causing the oscillation of the quantum fields that is driving the particles? Just like string theory, SOMETHING must causing the vibrations in the fields. What is causing the vibrations? Dont just say "energy" and leave it at that either. What energy? Where does it come from?

  • some body
    some body 14 days ago

    Oh goodie. Something new to think about.

  • Space Daze
    Space Daze 15 days ago

    Is there a way to visualize with this analogy the collapse of the wave function that occurs when a detector is used to determine which slit the particle passes?

  • yusuf gndz
    yusuf gndz 16 days ago

    The both a are beautiful

  • Knight Artorias
    Knight Artorias 17 days ago

    If I may add , you have beautiful teeth :)

  • Laurens Woltermann
    Laurens Woltermann 18 days ago

    In a phylisophical way of looking at life, this experiment embodies what I have been saying to people for years already. We seem determined to find the root of our actions, thoughts and feelings. But we have to deal with such a vastness of variables we will never be able to comprehend. Just like the path of the droplet, our lives seem to consist of 'coincidental and arbitrary' events. Yet, just like the path of the droplet, it is determined by so many variables that there is only one outcome possible. The experience of choice is a manifest of the fact we can't oversee the variables in the equation that is our life. So basically, what we have to do is accept the fact that we can not control life for that matter and trust on our subconcious i.e. intuition. That is the only system that is somewhat capable of computing the best outcome regarding the incredible amount of variables. I.e. the path of the droplet.

  • tenaciousvalor
    tenaciousvalor 19 days ago

    What if we perform the double slit experiment again but this time make the two slits far apart from each other...

    • ahmad zidan
      ahmad zidan 19 days ago

      It will become the one split experiment... Giving the same results but twice.

  • bibek gautam
    bibek gautam 19 days ago +12

    Do you guys just put 'quantum' in front of everything to sound cool ?
    -Scott Lang

    • Negasuki
      Negasuki 16 days ago +3

      Correction *Quantum Scott Lang

  • Thinkbolt
    Thinkbolt 19 days ago

    YES, I like this!

  • Longrod von Hugendong
    Longrod von Hugendong 20 days ago

    Isn't this a very strong argument for the pilot wave interpretation, then?

  • xXDragonHDXx
    xXDragonHDXx 20 days ago

    ive never seen so may smart people in a single comment section o_0

  • Dominik Živanović
    Dominik Živanović 21 day ago

    So basically, we're not waiting for the dvd sign to hit the corner, we're waiting for it to quantum tunnel

  • James Dinius
    James Dinius 21 day ago

    I prefer the Copenhagen interpretation, because it allows free will, while the pilot wave theory would suggest free will is an illusion and everything is predetermined.

    • Star Wars
      Star Wars 18 days ago

      James Dinius Well you know the universe doesn’t care what you think.

  • Tek Arts
    Tek Arts 22 days ago

    ok 1 can be seen and the other ar brains saying maybe

  • Raffaele Grandi
    Raffaele Grandi 22 days ago

    Unfortunately, I can put only one "like" to this awesome video!

  • 徐聿
    徐聿 23 days ago

    This means that the particles themselves are also vibrating. It is a particle. It makes waves. It affects itself.

  • RUNdone DIDit
    RUNdone DIDit 23 days ago


  • Kevin Brett
    Kevin Brett 23 days ago


  • Kenny Carter
    Kenny Carter 24 days ago

    I seen water do the same think in sinks amd the dishwasher machine

  • D G
    D G 24 days ago

    A Wizard did it.

  • forkevbot
    forkevbot 25 days ago +1

    Problem with copenhagen interpretation: There is no clear explanation for why things behave in this way besides just that they are this way. Alternatively, things which are waves and particles would behave in this way (and if you apply all the right rules it works out and makes sense).

    Problem with pilot wave theory: There are phenomenon which I don't clearly see how they would work out. Maybe I'm missing something but entanglement doesn't seem to make sense in this theory. Not that it makes a ton of sense in general.

    • forkevbot
      forkevbot 11 days ago

      @gregorymsmith that is what my initial thought is but it is hard to cope with the fact that the change in the wave happens at all spots in space instantly. Spooky action at a distance stuff.

    • gregorymsmith
      gregorymsmith 11 days ago

      forkevbot I need to study this more, but my first interpretation would be the entangled particles are on the same wave, and measuring the particle changes the wave and thus the orientation of the other particle? Just a vague idea, no idea if it’s right.

  • Down Beat Entertainment
    Down Beat Entertainment 26 days ago +1

    : "Group yourselves into five"
    Us: 1:10

  • Chris Johnson
    Chris Johnson 27 days ago

    You're probably not gonna see this, this video is 2 years old so I dont blame you, but is it possible that small electromagnetic particles, like photons or electrons, lose an immediately undetectable amount of energy with each oscillation? I know, I know, this sounds like tired light theory, but that deals with cosmic dust scattering light enough to red shift it over vast distances, which isnt possible. BUT, is it possible that, in their electromagnetic oscillations, they radiate slightly more virtual particles than what is in empty space? This would provide the wave that travels through the opposite slit to interfere with the particles own virtual waves.

  • Magnetic Fishing Madness
    Magnetic Fishing Madness 28 days ago +1

    wait 4:58 does this mean that entropy theory should really be ignorance theory?! and that everything is going to come to a grinding halt because of our... oh i see the light 👌

  • BMBirdsong
    BMBirdsong 28 days ago +2

    I've always gravitated towards the pilot wave theory. I find many aspects of the Copenhagen model to be nonsensical.

  • Hüseyin Arslan
    Hüseyin Arslan 28 days ago +9

    Dude I forgot about this video and after improving my knowledge this makes even more sense

  • Rubin Saffy
    Rubin Saffy 28 days ago

    Deepak Chopra has entered the chat

  • Bullet Ma9net
    Bullet Ma9net 29 days ago

    I love this.

  • LifeUnder TheMicroscope

    What a scumbag. I'm sorry, a quantum scumbag.

  • Cislord SoyBlue
    Cislord SoyBlue 29 days ago

    What frequency do the pilot waves for electrons and other particles vibrate at? Has to be very high frequency. What about gravity? Can pilot waves be used to levitate and propel large objects?

  • Akshay J
    Akshay J Month ago +1

    So oil drop bounces in 3rd dimension perpendicular to circular wave formed by it on surface,
    Maybe electronhs are bounding in 4th dimension and that could explain why they can pass barriers

    • Akshay J
      Akshay J Month ago +1

      I'm an engineering student, so maybe if i have something funny or wrong please let me know

  • Arbon Ransom
    Arbon Ransom Month ago

    What would the quantum equivalent of the oil be?

    • Nilhilion
      Nilhilion Month ago

      Quantum particle field. So in the case of electron: electron field.

  • PLaGuEzZ
    PLaGuEzZ Month ago

    I mean it makes more sense for sure. You can see how the wave pushes off different angles to steer the drops in different areas. If it forms the same pattern as a regular double slit experiment id vote for the pilot wave theory. Is there no way to test this further?

  • pollo il pollo
    pollo il pollo Month ago

    univers it is not random, it has just initial condition that we cannot know due to indetermination of heisenberg

  • Caleb Broderick
    Caleb Broderick Month ago +2

    This was such a mind blowing video. I've watched and read as much as I can on quantum mechanics, but for the first time I can understand why particles have superposition. I had no knowledge of pilot waves, so now I can accept that I dont understand superposition but its easier to accept the Copenhagen principle, which I already have. You've solved several years of cognative dissonance, thanks!

  • sudip 007
    sudip 007 Month ago


  • Michael Brook
    Michael Brook Month ago

    I'm a mathematician and quantum theory still blows my mind. How can observation affect physical properties! I guess it's true, but it's hard to accept.

    • VioletteOrdinaire
      VioletteOrdinaire Month ago

      Imagine that f.e. the photon you needed to observe the particle is interacting with said particle. photon + specific particle -> observed particle. I find it easy to accept, the (very) small particles are more prone to being interfered by whatever crosses their way where on the other hand, a composition of particles like an apple is more (let's call it) "stable". Newtonian mechanics is inaccurate but working for macroscopic levels in our tiny reference frame of Earth because you have only negligible quantum or relativistic effects. I'm very fascinated by Bohmian Mechanics because of its intuitive in opposition to Quantum Mechanics and I like to think of the world as an assortment of diff. equations :D so the concept of absolute determinism sounds nice to me.

  • Omar B.
    Omar B. Month ago


  • Dale DeLatte
    Dale DeLatte Month ago

    Adding quantum to any theory is the same as saying make-believe! Just accept ether and let's see some serious scientific breakthroughs. Light is no more a particle than magnetism or gravity.

  • Derrick Lawrence
    Derrick Lawrence Month ago +3

    Man you are good - a layperson like me can even understand. Still have alot question.

  • Ross Brandli
    Ross Brandli Month ago

    How cool is that? The droplet re-traces its course and interacts with and cancels the wavelets it previously formed!

  • daisx beohfox
    daisx beohfox Month ago

    Looks like the middle finger

  • Amitai Medan
    Amitai Medan Month ago

    WOW! Love it, but, can you have two theories competing each other, or just two hypothesis competing?

  • Kenny Kerman
    Kenny Kerman Month ago

    That, plus the double-pendulum, makes objective randomness - Si on ajoute ça au double-pendule, on obtient du hasard objectif (cf. Poincaré)

  • Me & U
    Me & U Month ago

    We need better tools to see down there way down there.

  • Irish Red
    Irish Red Month ago

    Copenhagen non observability we know doesn't work because of quantum entanglement

  • neomt2
    neomt2 Month ago

    How does once make oil from dry silicate??

  • Austin goodwyn
    Austin goodwyn Month ago

    As I understand it most energy waves require a medium to travel. Except for electromagnetic radiation. What are these waves made of that these electrons give off?

  • Alex Helmin
    Alex Helmin Month ago

    My sprinkler just started doing this on my porch. Extremely cool

  • awesome0sour
    awesome0sour Month ago

    Would't the pilot wave have to travel faster than the speed of light, in order to affect the particle (photon), which is already traveling at the speed of light?

  • Saurav Karna
    Saurav Karna Month ago

    Who are the 948 people who disliked it? What did you not like ??

  • Main Stay
    Main Stay Month ago

    What is the 'Silicone oil' in the case of a particle?

  • Bharth Yadav
    Bharth Yadav Month ago +1