What is Pilot wave: Definition and 35 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.

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  1. L

    I Copenhagen Interpretation vs Pilot Waves

    I was unsatisfied with the measurement problem so I was looking at pilot wave (PW) Sabine says one downside of pilot wave is there is no QFT version for pilot wave yet. And a significant problem in replacing the QFT is that PW is non-local, and that copenhagen very much depends on being local...
  2. S

    I The velocity of Pilot-wave and the Double slit experiment

    Hello, Its been a while since I'm trying to understand the concept of the pilot wave theory and it's relation with the deBroglie wave. What is the fundamental difference between the two? My confusion comes from the double slit experiment. The velocity of the deBroglie wave is c^2/v so I...
  3. 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...
  4. manases

    I Pilot Wave Theory: Against the Rest of Quantum Mechanics?

    Hi, I was reading about the Pilot Wave theory. I also found this vid: Is the Pilot Wave theory against most of the other interpretations of QM? And what are the main things one needs to accept? - In pilot wave theory, --- we have to accept a medium of unknown particles. ---...
  5. 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...
  6. MichPod

    A How momentum measurement is defined in Pilot Wave interpretation?

    Considering pilot wave interpretation, a singular particle measurements are fully defined (?) by knowing its wave function (a pilot wave) and the position of the "particle" (some hypotetical point particle riding on the wave). This should provide some sort of "realistic" explanation of how a...
  7. 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...
  8. Deepblu

    I Why Bohmian Mechanics needs non-locality?

    I always think about entanglement as pure conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum. In fact I see that only conservation of energy is non-local, and that quantum objects have nothing to do with non-locality, for example you can entangle 2 atoms that have never interacted with...
  9. 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...
  10. S

    A What is the Wavelength of the Pilot Wave in the Pilot Wave Theory?

    Hi, I am new to the Pilot Wave theory. In my understanding this theory gives a hope for reconstruction of the realism. But I have several maybe naif questions. What is the wavelength of the pilot wave? Is it the same as deBroglie wavelength formula? Very often people use the walking droplets...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. O

    I Doesn't wave duality for massive objects favor pilot-wave?

    It is well known that wave particle duality was also observed with large particles up to 10000 amu: Abstract of Paper : https://arxiv.org/abs/1310.8343 Doesn't that make pilot wave theory a more logical interpretation? For example it is easier than the whole material becoming a wave...
  14. J

    NASA confirms(?) EmDrive - can pilot wave carry momentum?

    It is hard not to hear that NASA has just published paper claiming confirmation of "impossible drive" - closed resonant chamber: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/full/10.2514/1.B36120 http://www.sciencealert.com/it-s-official-nasa-s-peer-reviewed-em-drive-paper-has-finally-been-published...
  15. B

    B Pilot Waves of Apple: Exploring the Physics and Possibilities

    Dear Physicsforums, Does the pilot waves of apple look like an apple? It was supposed to occur in configuration space and not in spacetime.. but isn't it configuration space is a possible spacetime since the pilot waves are supposed to be not just smokes and mirrors like the wave function in...
  16. 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...
  17. P

    Delayed Choice Compatibly with Pilot Wave?

    With this new publication in Nature, http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/v11/n7/full/nphys3343.html, they have proven that "if one chooses to believe that the atom really did take a particular path or paths then one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atom's past." Do...
  18. 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...
  19. 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...
  20. T

    Can a pilot wave be instantaneous?

    I don't understand why it cannot be. If a particle is "riding" a pilot wave and is guided by it, then the pilot wave must precede the particle in some way. But at what speed? Isn't the simplest explanation that the pilot wave is instantaneous, with the particle simply being a phase phenomenon of...
  21. 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...
  22. 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...
  23. 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.
  24. bohm2

    Pilot wave models and "no cross" rule

    From my understanding, average trajectories based on weak "measurements", obey the 'no-crossing rule'. These average trajectories strongly resemble the single-photon trajectories predicted by Bohmian mechanics: For instance compare these average trajectories...
  25. 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...
  26. 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...
  27. S

    Why does dbb need to assume pilot wave?

    The De Broglie–Bohm (DBB) interpretation conjunctures that: a) the wavefunction travels through both slits, but each particle has a well-defined trajectory and passes through exactly one of the slits b) there is a pilot waveNow, one can guess/understand why it needs to assume a) above...
  28. 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...
  29. zonde

    Pilot wave without non-locality

    I am trying to analyze EPR photon polarization experiment with pilotwaves. We create H and V photons in both channels of PDC source. They have associated H and V pilotwaves. Now we analyze composed system of H and V photons and their pilotwaves with PBS. If PBS is rotatated so that it is in...
  30. 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...
  31. 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...
  32. 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"
  33. 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...
  34. D

    Angle of pilot wave through apperature?

    Can anyone help me with this. My understanding of pilot waves in Young's double slit experiments requires the angle of the wave to be perpendicular to the apperature. I don't have any problems understanding double slit experiments of this type but I am having problems understanding how diamond...
  35. K

    Is Bohm's Pilot Wave Theory a Viable Alternative to Standard Quantum Mechanics?

    The problem David Bohm's pilot wave theory has is that standard QM has been so successful and verified by experiment so many times that few physicists will not feel motivated to challenge it, and also Bohm's theory does not make predictions that are at odds with QM and therefore would allow a...