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Pilot wave or standard QM

  1. Aug 24, 2004 #1
    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 clear distinction
    between the standard QM and Bohm's pilot wave theory.
    In Bohm's theory there is even an element of instantaneous action
    in the way the pilot wave can change instantaneously throughout
    its length.Bohm's theory stays close to standard QM in so many
    ways, that it would be surprising if it cannot be applied to
    relativistic QED and QCD.In forty years since it was thought
    up, nobody has been able to produce a convincing argument
    which shows the pilot wave theory is wrong.
    Can anyone think of an argument to show Bohm was right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2004 #2

    All interpretations of QM have at their core the standard formalism of QM,the only one which really makes novel predictions,so that there is no suprise that they make exactly the same testable predictions.This is why some neo positivists say that ALL interpretations are nothing more than mere philosophy,only the standard formalism deserves to be part of science itself,in the body of accepted (provisional) scientific,'objective',knowledge (not without some merits however-though I,personally,disagree with this point of view).Given the special situation at quantum level,from what we know now at least,it would be very very difficult to make an direct experimental difference between the different ontologies proposed (put in evidence the empirical equivalent of 'quantum potential',for example,or other theoretical constructs).Even decoherence is problematic,being basically non [testable],it is postulated to take place so rapidly that there is no way to put it in evidence,not even potentially!

    Thus the only way in which we can make the difference between the different interpretations were to prove that some of them are incompatible with some predictions of standard formalism of QM,the only one which makes testable predictions.It is exactly this which have tried those who claimed that Bohm's interpretation is not valid few years ago or the actual claims regarding the Copenhagen interpretation.Not successful as far as I know.But neither is there a proof that this is impossible.So let's wait and see,future might be full of surprises.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2004
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