Observing quantum trajectories: From Mott’s problem to quantum Zeno effect and back

Maurice de Gosson, Basil Hiley, Eliahu Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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The experimental results of Kocsis et al., Mahler et al. and the proposed experiments of Morley et al. show that it is possible to construct “trajectories” in interference regions in a two-slit interferometer. These results call for a theoretical re-appraisal of the notion of a “quantum trajectory” first introduced by Dirac and in the present paper we re-examine this notion from the Bohm perspective based on Hamiltonian flows. In particular, we examine the short-time propagator and the role that the quantum potential plays in determining the form of these trajectories. These trajectories differ from those produced in a typical particle tracker and the key to this difference lies in the active suppression of the quantum potential necessary to produce Mott-type trajectories. We show, using a rigorous mathematical argument, how the active suppression of this potential arises. Finally we discuss in detail how this suppression also accounts for the quantum Zeno effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-211
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Physics
Early online date11 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Quantum trajectories
  • Quantum potential
  • Zeno effect


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