Relating quantum mechanics with hydrodynamic turbulence

Roumen Tsekov, Eyal Heifetz, Eliahu Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this letter we attempt to trace back the origin of quantum uncertainty. We show that the Schrödinger equation can be mapped into the inviscid Favre-Reynolds turbulence equations of classical compressible fluids, albeit in zero temperature. Under this mapping the probability density function becomes the Reynolds time mean density of the fluid, the real and the imaginary parts of the momentum become the mean and turbulent root-mean-square velocities, respectively, where the latter obeys the first Fick law of diffusion and saturates the lower bound of the uncertainty principle. The mean pressure is proportional to the divergence of the turbulent mass flux and is the source for stochasticity. The roles of the pressure gradient force and the Reynolds stress tensor convergence, under this mapping, are illustrated in two well-known systems, namely, the 1s orbital hydrogen atom and the 1D dynamic Gaussian wavepacket. Finally, we analyze within an independent part of the letter, a conjecture according to which this pressure results from vacuum fluctuations at the zero-point energy, mediated by random collisions of the particle with virtual photons. This suggests that the typical turbulent eddy is of the size of the Compton wavelength corresponding to a Reynolds averaging time scale which is twice the Zitterbewegung period. Moreover, according to this interpretation the quantized characteristics of the particle result from interactions with virtual photons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40002
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© CopyrightEPLA, 2018.


Dive into the research topics of 'Relating quantum mechanics with hydrodynamic turbulence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this