Borghesi, C., Moukhtar, J., Labousse, M., Eddi, A., Fort, E., & Couder, Y. (2014). Interaction of two walkers: Wave-mediated energy and force. Physical Review E, 90(6), 063017.
A bouncing droplet, self-propelled by its interaction with the waves it generates, forms a classical wave-particle association called a “walker.” Previous works have demonstrated that the dynamics of a single walker is driven by its global surface wave field that retains information on its past trajectory. Here, we investigate the energy stored in this wave field for two coupled walkers and how it conveys an interaction between them. For this purpose, we characterize experimentally the “promenade modes” where two walkers are bound, and propagate together. Their possible binding distances take discrete values, and the velocity of the pair depends on their mutual binding. The mean parallel motion can be either rectilinear or oscillating. The experimental results are recovered analytically with a simple theoretical framework. A relation between the kinetic energy of the droplets and the total energy of the standing waves is established.