QFT as pilot-wave theory - one more time....

In summary: They play no role in any physical process, and they cannot be observed. In summary, the paper "QFT as pilot-wave theory of particle creation and destruction" discusses the presence of vacuum particles with zero 4-momentum in QFT and their potential interaction with real particles. However, these vacuum particles have no physical significance and their existence is only necessary for mathematical consistency. Therefore, they cannot be observed or measured.
  • #1
asimov42
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I've recently read (portions of) the paper "QFT as pilot-wave theory of particle creation and destruction," available here: http://xxx.lanl.gov/pdf/0904.2287v5

This paper has been mentioned in a number of other threads, but I have a different question (not as an expert, unfortunately). The paper describes a state in QFT as containing, potentially, an infinite number of particles with zero 4-momentum - so at single points in space-time.

My question is the following: can these "vacuum" particles (using terminology in the paper) interact with 'real' particles? For example, what if one of the particles with zero 4-momentum was a positron, and a 'real' electron (with an extended world line) collided with the positron? Since the positron has zero 4-momentum, clearly the result can't be the usual electron-positron annihilation. Also, if interactions were to occur, the results would be measurable, which is also clearly not possible.

I'm unclear on how the proposed theory deals with the above?
 
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  • #2
Sorry - I should have added that Demystifier, the paper's author, may be able to help?
 
  • #3
asimov42 said:
I've recently read (portions of) the paper "QFT as pilot-wave theory of particle creation and destruction," available here: http://xxx.lanl.gov/pdf/0904.2287v5

This paper has been mentioned in a number of other threads, but I have a different question (not as an expert, unfortunately). The paper describes a state in QFT as containing, potentially, an infinite number of particles with zero 4-momentum - so at single points in space-time.

My question is the following: can these "vacuum" particles (using terminology in the paper) interact with 'real' particles? For example, what if one of the particles with zero 4-momentum was a positron, and a 'real' electron (with an extended world line) collided with the positron? Since the positron has zero 4-momentum, clearly the result can't be the usual electron-positron annihilation. Also, if interactions were to occur, the results would be measurable, which is also clearly not possible.

I'm unclear on how the proposed theory deals with the above?
The trajectory of a real particle may depend on the spacetime position of a vacuum particle. In this sense, one can say that they "interact". However, as you may already know, the trajectories of real particles in Bohmian mechanics cannot be directly measured. The measurable statistical predictions are identical to those of standard QFT, so do not depend on those vacuum particles.

If you wonder what then is the role of those vacuum particles, the answer is that they are there only for the sake of mathematical consistency.
 

Related to QFT as pilot-wave theory - one more time....

1. What is the pilot-wave theory in quantum field theory (QFT)?

The pilot-wave theory in QFT is an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics that involves a guiding wave (the pilot wave) that determines the behavior of particles. This theory suggests that particles have a definite trajectory and position, unlike the traditional view of quantum mechanics where particles exist in a state of superposition.

2. How does the pilot-wave theory explain quantum phenomena?

The pilot-wave theory explains quantum phenomena by proposing that particles are guided by a wave that determines their behavior. This wave is not directly observable, but it influences the behavior of particles to produce the same results as those predicted by traditional quantum mechanics.

3. What are the advantages of using the pilot-wave theory in QFT?

One of the main advantages of using the pilot-wave theory in QFT is that it provides a more intuitive and deterministic explanation of quantum phenomena. It also allows for a more consistent and coherent understanding of the behavior of particles at the quantum level.

4. Are there any limitations to the pilot-wave theory in QFT?

One limitation of the pilot-wave theory in QFT is that it is not fully compatible with the principles of relativity, which are fundamental to our understanding of the universe. Additionally, the theory is still being developed and has not yet been fully tested or accepted by the scientific community.

5. How does the pilot-wave theory relate to other interpretations of quantum mechanics?

The pilot-wave theory is just one of many interpretations of quantum mechanics, and it differs from others in its explanation of the behavior of particles. For example, the Copenhagen interpretation suggests that particles exist in a state of superposition, while the many-worlds interpretation proposes that every possible outcome of a quantum event occurs in a different universe. The pilot-wave theory offers a different perspective on the nature of particles and their behavior at the quantum level.

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