Reply To: God knows where all the particles are!


Dear Dustin,
so you do agree also that Bohmian trajectories are unobservable as a matter of principle. I think that does have some bearing on the issue of “empirical content”. In fact, I would say that this directly shows that Bohmian Mechanics has zero empirical content.

That is, if you take “empirical” as referring to some kind of experience. Your vague reference to “matter distribution” (I guess you mean distribution of Bohmian particles) does not help if whatever is distributed there cannot be detected by any kind of interaction with the system. You probably think that at the macroscopic level it all does not matter so much. If you throw in enough decoherence assumptions, wave your hands sufficiently and suggest that after all particles are probably roughly where the bump in the wave function is, you can maybe talk yourself into thinking of matter distribution (which you have somehow come to think of as Bohmian particle distribution) as an interpretational primitive.

But if we talk logical analysis, you will just have to admit that Bohmian Mechanics declares its own “emprical content” (matter distribution) to be unaccessible to experience, i.e., zero.

The question which comes first, BM or QM is maybe a matter of taste. To me the Bohnmian “derivation” of QM looks very much like adding spooky trajectories and rederiving QM by forgetting them. But I admit that this may just be my training in QM getting in the way. I can see that if you are a philosopher or a mathematician (i.e., not interested in applying the theory) you may find BM more palatable.

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