Foundations of Physics

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 299–312 | Cite as

The Reality in Bohmian Quantum Mechanics or Can You Kill with an Empty Wave Bullet?

  • Lev VaidmanEmail author

Several situations, in which an empty wave causes an observable effect, are reviewed. They include an experiment showing ‘‘surrealistic trajectories’’ proposed by Englert et al. and protective measurement of the density of the quantum state. Conditions for observable effects due to empty waves are derived. The possibility (in spite of the existence of these examples) of minimalistic interpretation of Bohmian quantum mechanics in which only Bohmian positions supervene on our experience is discussed.


Bohmian quantum mechanics empty waves surrealistic trajectories protective measurements many-world interpretation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    D. Bohm, Part I, Phys. Rev. 85, 166; Part II, Phys. Rev. 85, 180 1952.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    S. Goldstein, ‘‘Bohmian Mechanics’’, in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2002 edn.), Edward N. Zalta ed. URL = archives/win2002/entries/qm-bohm/.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Everett, H. 1957Rev. Mod. Phys.29454Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    L. Vaidman, ‘‘The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics’’, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2002 edn.), Edward N. Zalta ed. URL = Scholar
  5. 5.
    Y. Aharonov and L. Vaidman, in Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal, J.T. Cushing, A. Fine, and S. Goldstein, eds. (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1996). Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bell, J. S. 1980Int. J. Quan. Chem.14155Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bedard, K. 1999Phil. Sci.66221Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Holland, P. R. 1993Quantum Theory of MotionCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Maudlin, T. 1994Quantum Nonlocality and RelativityBlackwellOxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Albert, D. 1992Quantum Mechanics and ExperienceHarvard University PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hardy, L. 1992Phys. Lett. A16711Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Elitzur, A. C., Vaidman, L. 1993Found. Phys.23987Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Englert, B. G., Scully, M. O., Süssmann, G., Walther, H. Z. 1992 Naturforsch47a1175Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Aharonov, Y., Englert, B. G., Scully, M. O. 1999Phys. Lett. A263137266, 216 (2000)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Aharonov, Y., Erez, N., Scully, M. O. 2004Phys. Scrip.6981Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Aharonov, Y., Vaidman, L. 1993Phys. Lett. A17838Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Aharonov, Y., Anandan, J., Vaidman, L. 1993Phys. Rev. A474616Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dürr, D., Fusseder, W., Goldstein, S., Zanghi, N. 1993Z. Naturforsch48a1261Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dewdney, C., Hardy, L., Squires, E. J. 1993Phys. Lett. A1846Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Berndl, K., Daumer, M., Dürr, D., Goldstein, S., Zanghi, N. 1995Nuovo Cimento110B737Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brown, H. R., Dewdney, C., Horton, G. 1995Found. Phys.25329Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Barrett, J. A. 2000Phil. Sci.67680Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Aharonov, Y., Vaidman, L. 1990Phys. Rev. A4111Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Dickson, M. 2000Phil. Sci.67704Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Aicardi, F., Borsellino, A., Ghirardi, G. C., Grassi, R. 1991Found. Phys. Lett.4109Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Albert, D., Vaidman, L. 1989Phys. Let. A1391Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ghirardi, G. C., Rimini, A., Weber, T. 1986Phys. Rev. D34470Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physics and Astronomy, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact SciencesTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations