The Theory of (Exclusively) Local Beables

Foundations of Physics 40 (12):1858-1884 (2010)
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It is shown how, starting with the de Broglie–Bohm pilot-wave theory, one can construct a new theory of the sort envisioned by several of QM’s founders: a Theory of Exclusively Local Beables (TELB). In particular, the usual quantum mechanical wave function (a function on a high-dimensional configuration space) is not among the beables posited by the new theory. Instead, each particle has an associated “pilot-wave” field (living in physical space). A number of additional fields (also fields on physical space) maintain what is described, in ordinary quantum theory, as “entanglement.” The theory allows some interesting new perspective on the kind of causation involved in pilot-wave theories in general. And it provides also a concrete example of an empirically viable quantum theory in whose formulation the wave function (on configuration space) does not appear—i.e., it is a theory according to which nothing corresponding to the configuration space wave function need actually exist. That is the theory’s raison d’etre and perhaps its only virtue. Its vices include the fact that it only reproduces the empirical predictions of the ordinary pilot-wave theory (equivalent, of course, to the predictions of ordinary quantum theory) for spinless non-relativistic particles, and only then for wave functions that are everywhere analytic. The goal is thus not to recommend the TELB proposed here as a replacement for ordinary pilot-wave theory (or ordinary quantum theory), but is rather to illustrate (with a crude first stab) that it might be possible to construct a plausible, empirically viable TELB, and to recommend this as an interesting and perhaps-fruitful program for future research



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Citations of this work

The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics.M. Esfeld, D. Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & D. Durr - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):773-796.
One World, One Beable.Craig Callender - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3153-3177.
The Wave-Function as a Multi-Field.Mario Hubert & Davide Romano - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):521-537.

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Many Worlds and Schrodinger's First Quantum Theory.Valia Allori, Sheldon Goldstein, Roderich Tumulka & Nino Zanghì - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):1-27.
Schrödinger's Route to Wave Mechanics.Linda Wessels - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (4):311.

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