Protective Measurement and the Meaning of the Wave Function

Abstract
This article analyzes the implications of protective measurement for the meaning of the wave function. According to protective measurement, a charged quantum system has mass and charge density proportional to the modulus square of its wave function. It is shown that the mass and charge density is not real but effective, formed by the ergodic motion of a localized particle with the total mass and charge of the system. Moreover, it is argued that the ergodic motion is not continuous but discontinuous and random. This result suggests a new interpretation of the wave function, according to which the wave function is a description of random discontinuous motion of particles, and the modulus square of the wave function gives the probability density of the particles being in certain locations. It is shown that the suggested interpretation of the wave function disfavors the de Broglie-Bohm theory and the many-worlds interpretation but favors the dynamical collapse theories, and the random discontinuous motion of particles may provide an appropriate random source to collapse the wave function.
Keywords protective measurement  wave function  mass and charge density  ergodic motion  random discontinuous motion  propensity  wavefunction collapse
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