Compendium of Quantum Physics

pp 43-47

Bohm Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

  • Basil J. Hiley

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The Bohm interpretation aims at providing an interpretation based on the description of the evolution of an actual individual process evolving in space-time. In the case of particles, it accounts for their individual behaviour in terms of their simultaneous positions and momenta, even though these are assumed to be unknown. It is often argued that this view must be untenable owing to the ► Heisenberg uncertainty relations. However the uncertainty principle only rules out the possibility of measuring experimentally the simultaneous position and momentum. From this principle two conclusions are possible. Either the particle does not have a simultaneous position and momentum to measure, or that it does have a simultaneous position and momentum but it is simply not possible to measure them simultaneously and therefore must remain unknown. There is no direct experimental way to decide which of these two positions is actually correct. The conventional approach adopts the former, the Bohm interpretation adopts the latter. In this latter approach it may be helpful to regard the (x,p) as “beables”.