On the Explanation of Born-Rule Statistics in the de Broglie-Bohm Pilot-Wave Theory

The de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave theory promises not only a realistic description of the microscopic world (in particular, a description in which observers and observation play no fundamental role) but also the ability to derive and explain aspects of the quantum formalism that are, instead, (awkwardly and problematically) postulated in orthodox versions of quantum theory. Chief among these are the various “measurement axioms” and in particular the Born rule expressing the probability distribution of measurement outcomes. Compared to other candidate non-orthodox quantum theories, the pilot-wave theory suffers from something of an embarrassment of riches in regard to explaining the Born rule statistics, in the sense that there exist, in the literature, not just one but two rather compelling proposed explanations. This paper is an attempt to critically review and clarify these two competing arguments. We summarize both arguments and also survey some objections that have been given against them. In the end, we suggest that there is somewhat less conflict between the two approaches than existing polemics might suggest, and that indeed elements from both arguments may be combined to provide a unified and fully-compelling explanation, from the postulated dynamical first principles, of the Born rule. View Full-Text / Download Paper

By Travis Norsen

This abstract belongs to an article of the Special Issue "Emergent Quantum Mechanics – David Bohm Centennial Perspectives"

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