What is Pilot wave theory: Definition and 24 Discussions

In theoretical physics, the pilot wave theory, also known as Bohmian mechanics, was the first known example of a hidden-variable theory, presented by Louis de Broglie in 1927. Its more modern version, the de Broglie–Bohm theory, interprets quantum mechanics as a deterministic theory, avoiding troublesome notions such as wave–particle duality, instantaneous wave function collapse, and the paradox of Schrödinger's cat. To solve these problems, the theory is inherently nonlocal.
The de Broglie–Bohm pilot wave theory is one of several interpretations of (non-relativistic) quantum mechanics.
An extension to the relativistic case has been developed since the 1990s.

View More On Wikipedia.org
  1. BohmianRealist

    I Is this why a pilot wave theory cannot be accepted?

    For any physical theory to be accepted, the consensus is that there must be a radical categorical separation between the formalism in which the theory is described (using exact mathematical language) and the empirical situation in which it is validated (using real world tools, materials and...
  2. M

    I Did de Broglie contribute later to pilot wave theory?

    If I recall correctly it was in Adam Becker's book "What is Real?" where I read that late in life de Broglie took up again the pilot wave theory that he had introduced at Solvay in 1927 and that Bohm had done so much work on in the interim. Did de Broglie make any contributions to pilot wave...
  3. A

    A Why is this Pilot-wave model on a discrete spacetime stochastic?

    Look at the paper in the link below: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10701-016-0026-7.pdf It introduces a pilot-wave model on a discrete spacetime lattice. However, the pilot-wave model is not deterministic; the motion of quantum particles is described by a |Ψ|^2-distributed...
  4. A

    A What are Bohmian trajectories for a free electron?

    A free electron, or any other quantum particle, has an uncertain position/momentum, according to Heisenberg uncertainty principle. The squared amplitude of the wavefunction determines the probability of finding the electron at any point of the space. Accordingly, atomic orbitals are attributed...
  5. DrChinese

    A A retrocausal amendment to de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory

    Just when I thought there couldn't be any more quantum interpretations (I think @Demystifier listed 9 in his recent thread)... :smile: Lee Smolin and several others (Cohen, Cortês, Elitzur) have published a pair of related papers discussing dBB/Bohmian Mechanics and its ability to explain the...
  6. A

    I Does the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory make predictions?

    I find the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory interesting but what I still feel missing in the descriptions I could find so far is that it reformulates what we already know but nobody speaks of new testable predictions that could eventually distinguish it from other interpretations (such as a new...
  7. J

    A Photon direction as hidden variable in a double slit expt?

    I was wondering if it would be feasible to set up something like the following experiment to validate the pilot wave theory. The idea here is to set up a double slit experiment, but control the initial conditions of photons emitted from a source (i.e., their directions) such that one can...
  8. S

    A Pilot Wave Theory & Non-Locality

    So Heisenberg's Uncertainty says that we can't know both the position and the velocity of a particle accurately, because measuring one will disturb the particle enough that it's no longer possible to accurately measure the other as it was. So one or the other has to remain unknown to us. This...
  9. Maxwell's Demon

    A What’s the physical nature of the pilot wave?

    Within the context of the de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave theory, can anyone explain what the pilot wave is in physical terms? I’m having a hard time understanding how, for example, the pilot wave influences the trajectory of a photon in the double-slit experiment. Are we dealing with...
  10. tomdodd4598

    I SQM vs Pilot Waves - Potential issue with Pilot Waves?

    Hey there. I'm not a expert in quantum mechanics, although have some experience with it, but I'm certainly far from being an expert when it comes to the pilot wave interpretation. For whatever reason, pilot waves have been mentioned quite a lot recently, and so I decided to take a closer look at...
  11. ibkev

    I New experimental support for pilot wave theory?

    This new research suggesting Debroglie/Bohm pilot wave theory may yet have legs sounded compelling and I would love to hear the thoughts of the PF community: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160517-pilot-wave-theory-gains-experimental-support There is some discussion in the comments by Wiseman...
  12. C

    B Quantum Mechanics vs. Pilot-Wave thought experiment

    Hello. I want to share a thought experiment that could tell Quantum Mechanics apart from Pilot-Wave interpretation. It goes like this: Quantum Mechanics vs. Pilot-Wave: Quantum Mechanics: Waves collapse to particles. Waves disappear when particles are detected. Pilot-Wave: Waves are real but...
  13. J

    Pilot wave theory and quantum tunneling

    Just a question about pilot wave theory as an alternative to SQM. Researchers in ANU have recently shown that quantum tunnelling of a particle through a barrier is instantaneous. Does this finding verify the Copenhagen superposition interpretation of QM and at the same time invalidate the...
  14. M

    Pilot Wave Theory: A Different Perspective on Quantum Mechanics

    When people talk about qm you often hear about superposition and uncertainty. But if I'm correct pilot wave theory which is an interpretation of qm doesn't require those things. If we don't know which interpretation of qm is correct, why is it that it is taught as if things like superposition...
  15. A

    Pilot Wave Theory: Exploring Spontaneous Transitions

    Hi all, I've recently been reading a little bit about pilot wave theory (as a physics novice). It's an interesting interpretation of quantum mechanics, but I'm wondering (apologies that this is in very non-technical terms): I can understand how the pilot wave interpretation leads to same...
  16. C

    Does anyone know what Pilot wave theory is?

    Does anyone know what Pilot wave theory is? The little I could gather is that it explains behavior at the quantum level without requiring the uncertainty so necessary in quantum physics, thus making the universe more deterministic than we thought. Anyone here who can offer an approachable...
  17. S

    De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory

    Are there any good books related to the not much popular De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory? There have been recent studies on dynamics of the walking droplets relation with pilot-wave dynamics to describe the motion of quantum particles.
  18. F

    How does the pilot wave theory explain the double slit experiment?

    Hi, I'm not a scientist, but a documentary filmmaker doing research on the nature of reality. An essential disclaimer as my question might seem a bit superficial to most you guys who work in the field. I would like to know how the pilot wave theory to quantum mechanics explains the double...
  19. P

    Is Pilot Wave Theory in Conflict with the Original Matter Wave Theory?

    1. v=∇S/m is still discrete? i mean the motion of particle still quanta or continuous? 2. so v is the velocity of the particle(group) or wave(phase velocity)? 3. ∇S can be find by measure the velocity of wave or particle? 4. So the wave is not longer associated with particle (wave particle...
  20. T

    De Broglie–Bohm pilot wave theory

    I have been reading about diffrent interpretations and find the bohm theory personally the most convincing interpretation of QM. I refuse to believe that my car turns into a wave when I am not looking at it. Anyways I wanted to know if there's a list that shows the number of physicists who...
  21. M

    Pilot wave theory, fundamental forces

    I read a short high-level article about the pilot wave interpretation of quantum mechanics and I have some questions. Is there a good way to formulate that theory so that the only force on a particle is from the pilot wave (inertia, gravity, EM, ... move/effect the wave which in turn...
  22. N

    Pilot Wave Theory: Mechanics Explained

    What, physically, does a pilot wave in itself consist of? Every source I've found wasted my time with pages upon pages of circumlocution, but none ever got to the point. So please don't cite any other sources. I just want the basic idea of it. I'm referring to the mechanics of the pilot wave...
  23. I

    Defense of pilot wave theory against Motl

    I remember somewhere (don't remember where) Motl's attack against pilot wave theory has been mentioned. Here is my rebuttal: http://ilja-schmelzer.de/realism/Motl.php"
  24. U

    Status of deBroglie-Bohm pilot wave theory

    It seems clear from Bell's 1986 article "Six possible worlds of quantum mechanics" (reproduced in J.S. Bell, Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics, 2nd ed., 2004) that he considered the pilot wave theory a radical, but also valid and simple potential solution to the wave-particle...