The de Broglie-Bohm Causal Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and its Application to some Simple Systems
The de Broglie-Bohm causal interpretation of quantum mechanics is discussed, and applied to the hydrogen atom in several contexts. Prominent critiques of the causal program are noted and responses are given; it is argued that the de Broglie-Bohm theory is of notable interest to physics. Using the causal theory, electron trajectories are found for the conventional Schrödinger, Pauli and Dirac hydrogen eigenstates. In the Schrödinger case, an additional term is used to account for the spin; this term was not present in the original formulation of the theory but is necessary for the theory to be embedded in a relativistic formulation. In the Schrödinger, Pauli and Dirac cases, the eigenstate trajectories are shown to be circular, with electron motion revolving around the <i>z</i>-axis. Electron trajectories are also found for the 1<i>s</i>-2<i>p</i>0 transition problem under the Schrödinger equation; it is shown that the transition can be characterized by a comparison of the trajectory to the relevant eigenstate trajectories. The structures of the computed trajectories are relevant to the question of the possible evolution of a quantum distribution towards the standard quantum distribution (quantum equilibrium); this process is known as quantum relaxation. The transition problem is generalized to include all possible transitions in hydrogen stimulated by semi-classical radiation, and all of the trajectories found are examined in light of their implications for the evolution of the distribution to the standard distribution. Several promising avenues for future research are discussed.