Reply To: God knows where all the particles are!

Dustin Lazarovici

Dear Reinhard,

If a may add a word regarding the “hand-waving” objection (i.e. Travis’ point 2):

The parts of BM that you describe as “fuzzy” concern the treatment of very complex, macroscopic system. This is the stuff that physicists always get somewhat pragmatic about. At least, I’ve never seen a mathematically rigorous treatment of a realistic detector (or measurement apparatus) in ANY theory.

More importantly, the problems you want to challenge BM with, are all on the level of the wave-function and their Schrödinger evolution. These are problems that everybody has to face if he is willing to take quantum mechanics seriously and apply it to anything more than highly idealized microsocpic systems.

Of course, if “standard QM” produces results that are relevant in this context (“decoherence”, “dephasing” etc.) it’s absolutely legitimate for the Bohmian to use them. But again, rigorous, quantitative results are very difficult to come by.

If, on the other hand, you try to avoid these problems by simply denying the “universality” of quantum mechanics, by denying, for instance, that a measurement apparatus has a wave-function in the first place, then you have to face the criticism that your theory is vague and/or inconsistent because there just is no sharp divide between the microscopic and the macroscopic level.



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