Applied Bohmian mechanics
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- Benseny, A., Albareda, G., Sanz, Á. et al. Eur. Phys. J. D (2014) 68: 286. doi:10.1140/epjd/e2014-50222-4
Bohmian mechanics provides an explanation of quantum phenomena in terms of point-like particles guided by wave functions. This review focuses on the use of nonrelativistic Bohmian mechanics to address practical problems, rather than on its interpretation. Although the Bohmian and standard quantum theories have different formalisms, both give exactly the same predictions for all phenomena. Fifteen years ago, the quantum chemistry community began to study the practical usefulness of Bohmian mechanics. Since then, the scientific community has mainly applied it to study the (unitary) evolution of single-particle wave functions, either by developing efficient quantum trajectory algorithms or by providing a trajectory-based explanation of complicated quantum phenomena. Here we present a large list of examples showing how the Bohmian formalism provides a useful solution in different forefront research fields for this kind of problems (where the Bohmian and the quantum hydrodynamic formalisms coincide). In addition, this work also emphasizes that the Bohmian formalism can be a useful tool in other types of (nonunitary and nonlinear) quantum problems where the influence of the environment or the nonsimulated degrees of freedom are relevant. This review contains also examples on the use of the Bohmian formalism for the many-body problem, decoherence and measurement processes. The ability of the Bohmian formalism to analyze this last type of problems for (open) quantum systems remains mainly unexplored by the scientific community. The authors of this review are convinced that the final status of the Bohmian theory among the scientific community will be greatly influenced by its potential success in those types of problems that present nonunitary and/or nonlinear quantum evolutions. A brief introduction of the Bohmian formalism and some of its extensions are presented in the last part of this review.