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Definitoon of trajectory in quantum physics, especially in path integrals

  1. Jan 2, 2010 #1
    What is the correct way to use the term trajectory in physics when discussin path integral forumaltion calculations. Here is the sentence i am trying to complete and am unsure if i may use the term trajectory:

    So the wavefunction offers a much more simplistic and perhaps more beautiful way to describe a system when compared to the kernel since all effects of the past history of a particle can be defined in terms of a the wavefunction. If we were to ignore everything we knew of it's history (or did not know this information) except for it's wavefunction at a particular time; we could calculate the future of the particle's TRAJECTORY??

    Or should i just alter the sentence to say we would know its future path or movement or soemthing to that effect?

    Help would be greatly appreciated, many thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2010 #2
    Also im very concenred about this statement which i obtained from richard feynman's book 'Quantum mechanics and path integrals' since this suggests the universe oberys determinism but i thought that this was not the general belief to quantum physicists. Please could someone clarify this since i dont want to include such a statement when it is clearly a very contentious thing to state. Many thanks again

  4. Jan 2, 2010 #3
    Ive decided the word evolution is more appropriate than trajectory, but id still like to know if it is correct to say that a gigantic wavefunction could suggest determinism?? please if anyyone could help me please?
  5. Jan 3, 2010 #4


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    The wave function and path integrals provide determinism of probability amplitudes. However, since they determine probabilities, it is possible that not EVERYTHING is deterministic. Yet, there is a possibility that they also determine something else, like Bohmian particle trajectories. In this case everything is deterministic.
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