Quantum equilibrium and the role of operators as observables in quantum theory


Abstract
Bohmian mechanics is arguably the most naively obvious embedding imaginable of Schr¨ odinger’s equation into a completely coherent physical theory. It describes a world in which particles move in a highly non-Newtonian sort of way, one which may at first appear to have little to do with the spectrum of predictions of quantum mechanics. It turns out, however, that as a consequence of the defining dynamical equations of Bohmian mechanics, when a system has wave function ψ its configuration is typically random, with probability density ρ given by |ψ|2, the quantum equilibrium distribution. It also turns out that the entire quantum formalism, operators as observables and all the rest, naturally emerges in Bohmian mechanics from the analysis of “measurements.” This analysis reveals the status of operators as observables in the description of quantum phenomena, and facilitates a clear view of the range of applicability of the usual quantum mechanical formulas.
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Against ”Measurement'.J. S. Bell - 2004 - In Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 213--231.

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Epistemology of Wave Function Collapse in Quantum Physics.Charles Wesley Cowan & Roderich Tumulka - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):405-434.

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