ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Quantum Theory Alternative Fluid Dynamics Interpretation Of Objective Reality

Updated on September 20, 2011

Besides the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, other logically consistent interpretations of quantum mechanics exist, despite previously carved-in-stone “impossibility proofs”, now more widely recognized as “irrelevant”. One particularly appealing alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics treats the theory's mathematics as a deeper application of fluid dynamics.

FLUIDISM Aspect 478 Fluid Dynamics Art Photography by Robert G. Kernodle
FLUIDISM Aspect 478 Fluid Dynamics Art Photography by Robert G. Kernodle

 Fluids exhibit both cellular structures and waveforms, reminiscent of sub-atomic phenomena that exhibit particle and wave dualities.

FLUIDISM Aspect 161-P Fluid Dynamics Art Photography by Robert G. Kernodle
FLUIDISM Aspect 161-P Fluid Dynamics Art Photography by Robert G. Kernodle

Deeper Insights Into Particle Probabilities

In 2010, Larry Hardesty -- MIT News Office reported on fluid dynamics experiments that demonstrated how macroscopic water droplets could mimic the odd behavior of subatomic particles. According to Hardesty, a French physicist named Yves Couder set up conditions that enabled millimeter-sized fluid droplets to bounce up and down on a vibrating fluid bath in such a way that the droplets were guided by waves caused from their bouncing. These experiments strongly suggest an abandoned interpretation of quantum mechanics, first proposed by Louis de Broglie in 1927 and later re-introduced by David Bohm in 1954.

De Broglie was the person who inspired Erwin Schrodinger to propose his famous wave equation, which remains the fundamental equation of modern quantum mechanics. Schrodinger, in fact, originally thought of his wave equations as representations of actual waves in a continuous physical fluid. At first, he did not see any relationship between his wave mechanics and the more abstract matrix mechanics devised by Werner Heisenberg (around the same time) to describe subatomic events.

Quantum Mechanics’ Other "Erwin"

“Erwin Shchrodinger”(1887-1961) is a name most familiar to people who study quantum mechanics. Another “Erwin”, however, also made noteworthy contributions to the field of quantum mechanics. Erwin Madelung (1881-1972) interpreted quantum mechanics as wave mechanics of a real, objective, continuous, fluid substrate, where we might visualize particles as crests of waves. In 1926, Madelung stated this interpretation outright. Albert Einstein, Louis de Broglie, and Erwin Schrodinger all originally thought in this way, but they later retreated in the wake of an overriding, orthodox interpretation championed by Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, Pascual Jordan and Max Born.

Erwin Madelung (1881-1972)

An Early Proponent of Quantum Mechanics Hydrodynamics Interpretation
An Early Proponent of Quantum Mechanics Hydrodynamics Interpretation
Schrodinger-Madelung Equation, Developed by Erwin Madelung
Schrodinger-Madelung Equation, Developed by Erwin Madelung

Why The Fluid Interpretation Flopped

According to James T. Cushing, in his book, QUANTUM MECHANICS: HISTORICAL CONTINGENCY AND THE COPENHAGEN HEGEMONY , the cultural atmosphere between 1900-1925 was significantly influenced by the philosophies of Charles-Bernard Renouvier (1815-1903) and Emile Boutroux (1845-1921), who questioned the idea of causality and the idea of separate identities of objects and their descriptions. In addition, the philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) made a strong impression on Niels Bohr, through lectures by Harold Hoffding.

Practical necessities of experimental procedures led to the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics, while prevailing cultural forces led to an officially accepted interpretation. The ability to visualize theories and to find them self-consistent (previous hallmarks of classical physical theories) lost out to declarations of faith that consistency arguments for the accepted interpretation did not allow even the possibility of an alternative point of view. In essence, strong personal beliefs of minds in vogue (and in power) at the time became dogma.

Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (1900-1958), for example, suggested that discussing experimentally unobservable quantities, were, by definition, “unobservable”, hence unreal or fictitious, and without physical meaning. He, along with Bohr, Heisenberg, Jordan and Born, appeared to be pre-conditioned by an emerging philosophical mood in the greater culture that rejected continuity and causality. This philosophical mood, thus, led to the so-called “Copenhagen Interpretation”.

Reopening A Lost Path

Physicist, R. M. Kien (1998) points out that, starting with Erwin Madelung in 1926, the physics literature contains many references to similarities between Schrodinger’s quantum mechanics and fluid dynamics. Kien further notes that, during his own studies in topology, he has discovered how to convert the Schroedinger equation exactly into the format of a viscous compressible fluid.

“In this new representation”, says Kien, “the square of the wave function has an explicit and novel interpretation as the distribution of vorticity in a viscous fluid, and is not to be considered as the position probability of the electron.”

Kien also mentions that the modern-day focus on certain superconducting films incorporates a hydrodynamic perspective to model quantum phenomena.


Further References For A Fluid Dynamics Interpretation Of Quantum Mechanics


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)