The Measurement Theory of Everett and De Broglie’s Pilot Wave

  • J. S. Bell
Part of the Mathematical Physics and Applied Mathematics book series (MPAM, volume 1)


In 1957 H. Everett published a paper setting out what seemed to be a radically new interpretation of quantum mechanics1. His approach has recently received increasing attention2. He did not refer to the ideas of de Broglie of thirty years before3 nor to the intervening elaboration of those ideas by Bohm4. Yet it will be argued here that the elimination of arbitrary and inessential elements from Everett’s theory leads back to, and throws new light on, the concepts of de Broglie5.


Wave Function Measurement Theory Schrodinger Equation Instrument Reading Macroscopic Phenomenon 
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References and Footnotes

  1. 1.
    Everett,H., Revs. Modern Phys. 29 (1957), 454MathSciNetADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. see also Wheeler, J. A., Revs. Modern Phys. 29 (1957), 463.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2.
    See for example: de Witt, B. S. and others in Physics Today 23 (1970), No. 9, 30 and 24, No. 4, 36 (1971) and references therein. Ideas like those of Everett have also been set out by Cooper, L. N. and van Vechten, D., American J. Phys. 37 (1969), 1212 and by L. N. Cooper in his contribution to the Trieste symposium in honour of P. A. M. Dirac, September 1972.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    For a systematic exposition see: de Broglie, L., ‘Tentative d’Interprétation Causale et Non-linéaire de la Mécani que Ondulatoire’, Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1956.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Bohm, D., Phys. Rev. 85 (1952), 166, 180.MathSciNetADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 5.
    This thesis has already been presented in my contribution to the international colloquium on issues in contemporary physics and philosophy of science, Penn. State University, September 1971, CERN TH. 1424. That paper is referred to for more details of several arguments, but the opportunity has been taken here to expand on some points only mentioned there.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Bell, J. S., contribution to the Trieste symposium in honour of P. A. M. Dirac, CERN TH.1582, September 197210.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    Rosenfeld, L., Nuclear Phys. 40 (1963), 353.MathSciNetADSzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. G. F. Chew has suggested that the electromagnetic interaction must be considered apart (although not of course left un quantized) because of its macroscopic role in observation (High Energy Physics, Les Houches, 1965, ed. by C. de Witt and M. Jacob, Gordon and Breach, 1965.).Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    It is beside the present point that microscopic gravitation might not in fact be quantitatively unimportant; see, for example, the contribution of A. Salam to the Trieste symposium in honour of P. A. M. Dirac, September 197210. Google Scholar
  11. 9.
    For details see the paper referred to in note 5.Google Scholar
  12. 10.
    The Physicist’s Conception of Nature,Ed. by J. Mehra, Dordrecht, Reidel, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Bell
    • 1
  1. 1.CERNGenevaSwitzerland

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