Bohmian mechanics as a heuristic device: Wave packets in the harmonic oscillator

Gary E. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Although Bohmian mechanics has attracted considerable interest as a causal interpretation of quantum mechanics, it also possesses intrinsic heuristic value, arising from calculational tools and physical insights that are unavailable in "standard" quantum mechanics. We illustrate by examining the behavior of Gaussian harmonic oscillator wave packets from the Bohmian perspective. By utilizing familiar classical concepts and techniques, we obtain a physically transparent picture of packet behavior. This example provides, at a level accessible to students, a concrete illustration of Bohmian mechanics as a heuristic device that can enhance both understanding and discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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