“A freely moving body follows a trajectory that is orthogonal
to the surfaces of an associated guiding wave.” - De Broglie
Quantum mechanics, the study of how particles behave at very small scales, is an extremely successful theory. But the interpretation of the mathematics has always been difficult, because it’s very unintuitive. For example, it says that particles do not have any definite position, but instead exist in a cloud of probability, until it interacts with something that forces it to be in one place.
Pilot wave theory is an alternative explanation, that claims to lead to the same mathematics, but with a more concrete explanation.
This tree is an attempt to explain pilot wave theory in rudimentary terms, going into deeper and more rigorous terms when necessary.
To begin with, it’s best to start with a larger physical system that shows similar properties to the pilot wave theory.
We will then map the parts of this analogous system to the quantum scale.
We start with a number of “silly” questions, because it’s the only way to achieving a deep understanding. This is the first, though possibly unanswerable at the moment.
(mysticism aside: we are talking about causality and non-locality, not mystical “oneness”)
(Unsorted)
If you want to be able to add your own notes & questions, send me a quick email and I’ll add you: first.lastname@gmail.com.
This has all the elements of “science drama”: A crazy theory, a simple explanation ignored for decades, brute authority overridding the mild mannered theorist, and the comeback of the underdog alternative theory that made sense all along.
And so we must be careful to separate the facts from the drama that’s giving this theory a resurgence, at least in popular media (WIRED article, Through the Wormhole episode, etc…)
If you are interested in the history of “Why nobody likes Pilot Wave Theory?”, have a look at Mike Towler’s lecture
There is very little agreement about the answers to these questions, but we can all agree that the following crudely-expressed possibilities must be correct: [Goldstein]
In very simple terms, this non-locality is no different from that present in standard QM. (but need to expand on this further)