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Special Issue "Emergent Quantum Mechanics – David Bohm Centennial Perspectives"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jan Walleczek

Phenoscience Laboratories, Novalisstrasse 11, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: quantum ontology; nonlocal information; effective non-signalling; experimenter free will; quantum complexity; non-equilibrium systems
Guest Editor
Dr. Gerhard Grössing

Austrian Institute for Nonlinear Studies, Akademiehof, Friedrichstrasse 10, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: analytic quantum modeling; nonlinear sub-quantum dynamics; computer simulations; non-signalling and special relativity
Guest Editor
Dr. Paavo Pylkkänen

Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies, P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 A), FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Bohmian quantum information; quantum ontology and causality; physics of the conscious agent
Guest Editor
Dr. Basil Hiley

Physics Department, University College, London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Interests: Bohmian quantum trajectories; algebraic quantum theory; weak values; quantum potential

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emergent quantum mechanics (EmQM) is a research program that explores the possibility of an ontology for quantum mechanics. The resurgence of interest in realist approaches to quantum mechanics, including deterministic and indeterministic ones, challenges the standard textbook view. For example, standard “no-go” theorems against the possibility of realist, i.e., ontologically-grounded, quantum mechanics are increasingly recognized as falling short of their stated aim. Recent work also indicates that traditional assumptions and theorems such as nonlocality, contextuality, free choice, and non-signalling, need not necessarily contradict the existence of certain quantum ontologies.

On the occasion of David Bohm’s 100th birthday, a symposium on emergent quantum mechanics will be held at the University of London, Senate House, on October 26–28, 2017 (www.emqm17.org). This Special Issue features expert views that critically evaluate the prospects and significance—for 21st century physics—of ontological quantum mechanics, an approach which David Bohm helped pioneer. In original de Broglie-Bohm theory, the mathematical formalism refers to hypothetical ontic elements (e.g., John Bell’s “beables”) such as the quantum potential. In the 21st century, realist quantum approaches often distinguish between ψ-epistemic and ψ-ontic ontological quantum theories. Unlike ψ-ontic theories, the ψ-epistemic theories do not view the wave function ψ as a state of reality. Nevertheless, both types of approaches posit—again—the possibility of an ontological foundation for quantum mechanics.

Twenty-five years ago, David Bohm and Basil Hiley pointed out, in the book “The Undivided Universe”, the close resemblance between key properties of deterministic, hidden-variable, pilot-wave theory and emergence theory, i.e., the theory describing the emergent formation of ordered (i.e., negentropic) states in nonlinear, self-organizing systems, such as deterministic chaos. The notion of ‘emergence’, when applied in the context of an EmQM, often entails two meanings: (1) theory emergence, or (2) physical emergence. Theory emergence describes the idea that the results of orthodox quantum theory might be derived from a more general, deeper-level (sub-)quantum theory. More specifically, the notion of ‘physical emergence’ in quantum systems holds that the orthodox quantum view is neither complete nor fundamental but that an as-yet unknown (sub-) quantum ontology might exist. Consequently, essential questions directing the EmQM research agenda are: Is reality intrinsically random or fundamentally interconnected? Is the universe local or nonlocal? Might a radically new conception of reality include a new form of “quantum causality”?  

This Special Issue explores the possibility of an ontology for quantum mechanics. The focus is the search for a "deeper-level"  theory for quantum mechanics that interconnects three fields of knowledge: emergence, the quantum, and information. Contributions will be featured that present current advances in realist approaches to quantum mechanics, including new experiments, work in quantum foundations, and the physics of the quantum observer and the conscious experimenter agent.

Topics of the Special Issue:

  • Interpretations of Quantum Mechanics 
  • Nonlocality and Violation of Bell Inequalities
  • Quantum Probabilities and Contextuality
  • Quantum Causality and Ontology
  • Information Measures in Quantum Theory
  • Quantum Observation and the Physics of the Experimenter Agent
  • Nonlinear Methods applied to Quantum Theory
  • Self-organization and Quantum Emergence
  • Hidden Variable Theories and Relativity
  • Emergent Space-time 

Dr. Jan Walleczek
Dr. Gerhard Grössing
Dr. Paavo Pylkkänen
Dr. Basil Hiley
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Spooky Action at a Temporal Distance
Entropy 2018, 20(1), 41; doi:10.3390/e20010041
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Since the discovery of Bell’s theorem, the physics community has come to take seriously the possibility that the universe might contain physical processes which are spatially nonlocal, but there has been no such revolution with regard to the possibility of temporally nonlocal processes.
[...] Read more.
Since the discovery of Bell’s theorem, the physics community has come to take seriously the possibility that the universe might contain physical processes which are spatially nonlocal, but there has been no such revolution with regard to the possibility of temporally nonlocal processes. In this article, we argue that the assumption of temporal locality is actively limiting progress in the field of quantum foundations. We investigate the origins of the assumption, arguing that it has arisen for historical and pragmatic reasons rather than good scientific ones, then explain why temporal locality is in tension with relativity and review some recent results which cast doubt on its validity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergent Quantum Mechanics – David Bohm Centennial Perspectives)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Tentative title: What constitutes emergent quantum reality? An exploration from the constants of free space

Abstract: In this work it is acknowledged that important attempts to devise an emergent quantum theory require space-time to be discretized at the Planck scale. Yet if the conjectured space-time quanta are ontologically considered real objects that are indeed the relational constituents of an emergent reality, the five ‘fundamental’ constants related to free space that define the Planck unit system are expected to be replaceable by enumerations of the invariable properties of these rigid constituents. A direct connection between the constants of free space and expectedly related invariable constituent properties is therefore derived. It is then investigated whether the latter provide a different view on quantum gravity and its possible unification with the other fundamental forces. A Planck-scale origin for thermodynamic black hole characteristics that is more direct than earlier accounts and novel views on entropic gravity theory are relatedly provided.

Tentative title: Quantum mechanics tested in the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso

Abstract: Experiments testing quantum mechanics are undergoing in the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso in Italy. The VIP2 experiment finalized in December 2017 the first data taking campaign, obtaining an
unprecedented upper limit on the probability of the Pauli Exclusion Principle violation for electrons. An experiment using ultrapure Germanium detectors is testing collapse models, which modify the Schroedinger equation by introducing non-linear stochastic terms, by attempting to measure the so-called spontaneous radiation predicted by these models. The results obtained by these experiments will be presented and discussed in the paper, together with theoretical interpretations and future perspectives.

Tentative title: Quantum Entities as Nonlocal Deformable Continua

Abstract: It is reported that there exist new deformable media that exhibit all usually known quantized effects just as quantum entities do. The dynamic state of each such medium is represented by four field variables prescribing time-dependent distributions of the mass density, the velocity, the internal pressure and the intrinsic angular momentum. The physical nature of such media in response to every possible shape change is characterized by a characteristic equation of nonlocal nature that specifies how the pressure field relates to the density field. It is discovered that these media are endowed with unusual and unique dynamic features, namely, (i) the strongly coupled nonlinear dynamic equations governing the dynamic responses of these media are exactly reducible to a fundamental linear dynamic equation governing a complex field variable, in the sense of enabling exact closed-form solutions for all the dynamic field variables; (ii) this fundamental dynamic equation and this complex field variable are just the Schrödinger equation and the wave function in the quantum theory; and, accordingly, (iii) all quantized effects and the spin effects with the intrinsic angular momentum, commonly known for quantum entities, are in a natural and unified manner incorporated as inherent dynamic features of these media. Thus follow new and complete dynamic patterns for quantum entities, in which the physical origins and meanings of both the wave function and Schrödinger equation become self-evident and any indeterminacy of probabilistic nature becomes irrelevant.

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