Bohmian Mechanics Revisited

Foundations of Physics 28 (1):1-30 (1998)
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We consider the problem of whether there are deterministic theories describing the evolution of an individual physical system in terms of the definite trajectories of its constituent particles and which stay in the same relation to quantum mechanics as Bohmian mechanics but which differ from the latter for what concerns the trajectories followed by the particles. Obviously, one has to impose on the hypothetical alternative theory precise physical requirements. We analyze various such constraints and we show step by step how to meet them. This way of attacking the problem turns out to be useful also from a pedagogical point of view since it allows one to recall and focus on some relevant features of Bohm's theory. One of the central requirements we impose on the models we are going to analyze has to do with their transformation properties under the transformation of the extended Galilei group. In a context like the one we are interested in, one can put forward various requests that we refer to as physical and genuine covariance and invariance. Other fundamental requests are that the theory allows the description of isolated physical systems as well as that it leads to a solution (in the same sense as Bohmian mechanics) of the measurement problem. We show that, even when all the above conditions are taken into account, there are infinitely many inequivalent (from the point of view of the trajectories) bohmian-like theories reproducing the predictions of quantum mechanics. This raises some interesting questions about the meaning of Bohmian mechanics



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Citations of this work

Bohmian mechanics.Sheldon Goldstein - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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