On the Conceptual Issues Surrounding the Notion of Relational Bohmian Dynamics

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Foundations of Physics, ISSN: 0015-9018, Vol: 46, Issue: 8, Page: 943-972

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Vassallo, Antonio; Ip, Pui Him
Springer Nature
Physics and Astronomy
article description
The paper presents a program to construct a non-relativistic relational Bohmian theory, that is, a theory of N moving point-like particles that dispenses with space and time as fundamental background structures. The relational program proposed is based on the best-matching framework originally developed by Julian Barbour. In particular, the paper focuses on the conceptual problems that arise when trying to implement such a program. It is argued that pursuing a relational strategy in the Bohmian context leads to a more parsimonious ontology than that of standard Bohmian mechanics without betraying the original motivations for adopting a primitive ontology approach to quantum physics. It is also shown how a relational Bohmian approach might clarify the issue of the timelessness of the dynamics resulting from the quantization of a classical relational system of particles.