Quantum Trajectories: Real or Surreal?

The claim of Kocsis et al. to have experimentally determined “photon trajectories” calls for a re-examination of the meaning of “quantum trajectories”. We will review the arguments that have been assumed to have established that a trajectory has no meaning in the context of quantum mechanics. We show that the conclusion that the Bohm trajectories should be called “surreal” because they are at “variance with the actual observed track” of a particle is wrong as it is based on a false argument. We also present the results of a numerical investigation of a double Stern-Gerlach experiment which shows clearly the role of the spin within the Bohm formalism and discuss situations where the appearance of the quantum potential is open to direct experimental exploration.

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By Basil J. Hiley and Peter Van Reeth

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

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