You are on page 1of 10

Hydrodynamic Models of Quantum Mechanics

Oscar Chavoya-Aceves Camelback High School Mathematics Department 4612 North 28th Street Phoenix, Arizona, 85016 USA ochavoya@iteso.mx

May 30, 2002.

Abstract

Schrodinger equation for spin-less particles has an exact hydrodynamic model, which can be used to study quantum transitions, using causal functions. This has the potential to throw light on the nature of quantum entanglement, which is not studied here. Keywords: Quantum Mechanics; Hydrodynamics; Bohm-Aharonov Ef- fect; Electromagnetic Theory. PACS: 03.65.G; 03.30.

1

Introduction

As we’ll see, there is a complete hydrodynamic model of the motion of a spin-less quantum particle in an external field, in such manner that to each stationary state there corresponds a steady flux of the model. Given that there is a well defined procedure to transform wave func- tions into hydrodynamic fields, and viceversa, this opens the possibility of studying quantum transitions as unsteady fluxes. The use of this method could throw light on the nature of quantum entanglement, which is not studied in this paper, since the hydrodynamic analogy is valid even for many-particle systems, at least when the masses are equal. In absence of magnetic fields, the hydrodynamic field, which is the quantum field of velocity, defined as the quotient of the current of proba- bility and the corresponding density, represents a potential motion. If there is a magnetic field the velocity becomes rotational, and

e

∇ × v = mc H,

Submitted to Physics Letters A (05/30/02).

1

(1)

which explains the Bohm-Aharonov effect[1], and calls to investigate a physical connection between quantum momentum and the vector poten- tial of the electromagnetic field. This is a hydrodynamic version of the

operational equation pˆ = i¯h+ e c A, which is the quantum counterpart

of the equation P = mv + e c A,

(2)

that defines the generalized momentum of a charged particle under the action of an electromagnetic field, in the realm of analytic mechanics. Hydrodynamic analogies were used before to model quantum sys- tems in the classical limit [2]. Those models were derived from Bohr- Sommerfeld’s old quantum theory and the correspondence principle, which lead to suppose that, in the classical limit, the phase of the wave function becomes equal to the mechanical action. Those analogies are not valid in general, because the gradient of Bohm’s potential [3], which is precisely the term from which the quantum stress tensor of the hydrodynamic model is formed, is neglected. As we’ll see, however, there are valid hydrodynamic analogies even for strictly quantum motions, because, as follows from Schrodinger equation,

∇ × (mv + e c A)=0,

(3)

and

(4)

where v is the quantum field of velocities, A is the vector potential of the electromagnetic field, and φ is the phase of the wave function.

mv + e c A = ¯hφ.

2 The Hydrodynamic Model

From Schrodinger Equation

i¯h Ψ ∂t

=

2

2m ¯h Ψ + V Ψ

(5)

where Ψ is the wave function and V is the potential energy of a classical particle, it is shown that

Here

∂ρ

∂t

ρ

+ ∇ · j = 0

Ψ Ψ,

(6)

(7)

which is interpreted as a distribution of probability, and

j

≡ − 2m i¯h Ψ ΨΨ )

Equation (8) can be written as

Ψ

Ψ

= 2im

Ψ

Ψ

¯h

2

v.

(8)

(9)

where we have introduced the velocity field

v

ρ j .

(10)

Taking the gradient of both sides of (7), and dividing the resulting equation by ρ, we get

(11)

Ψ + Ψ

Ψ

Ψ

= ρ

ρ

Adding (9) and (11)

Therefore

where

and

(2 ln Ψ ln ρ) = 2imv ¯h

.

mv = ¯hφ;

φ =

i

2 (ln

ρ 2 ln Ψ)

Ψ = ρ Exp ().

(12)

(13)

(14)

Observe that, according to equation (12)

∇ · p = ¯h φ,

(15)

and

∇ × p = 0,

(16)

where

p mv.

(17)

In particular,

p · dl = 0

(18)

for any closed path. According to the continuity equation the material derivative of the density is given by

(19)

As it is well known from Quantum Mechanics ([2] p. 223), doing the substitution (14) the Schrodinger equation (5) is transformed into a pair of real equations

Dt

= ρ∇ · v = ¯hρ φ.

m

Where

m ρ + ( ρ · ∇φ) + ρ φ = 0.

∂t

2

∂φ + (φ) 2

∂t

2m

+ V

+ Q = 0

Q ≡ − 2m ¯h 2

ρ

ρ

(20)

(21)

(22)

is the quantum potential of the De Broglie-Bohm theory.

3

Equation (20) is mathematically equivalent to (6), which is written as:

∂ρ

∂t

+ ∇ · (ρv)=0.

(23)

We use equations (12) and (21), as well as the identity

1

2 v 2 = v × (∇ × v)+(v · ∇)v,

to show that

m ∂v

+ m(v · ∇)v = −∇V − ∇Q.

∂t Equation (25) can also be written in the form

ρ m v ∂t

+ (v · ∇)v = ρV + F.

(24)

(25)

(26)

where

ρ m m ρ;

F ≡ −ρQ =

2

2m ¯h ( ρ ρ − ∇ ρ ρ)

(27)

removing thus the divergence of Bohm’s quantum potential. It is easily shown that F is the divergence of a second order symmetric tensor:

(28)

2

2m ¯h ( ρ∂ ij ρ i ρ∂ j ρ).

F i = j T ij ; T ij =

The magnitude

P =

T ii

3

=

2

6m ¯h (( ρ) 2 ρ ρ)

(29)

is a kind of “pressure”, whilst the tensor

σ ij = T ij + ij ,

(30)

plays the role of a “shearing stress”[4]. Equations (12), (14), (23), (25) and the condition

ρdv = 1

(31)

make up a complete hydrodynamic representation of the motions de- scribed by (5). They model the flux of probability as a flux of classical

locally interacting particles. The hydrodynamic view, however, is more general than Schrodinger’s view, because it allows us to make statements about the motion between stationary states, and about the motions that result from the relaxation of the condition ∇× v = 0, and test the validity of those statements. It’s well known from quantum mechanics that if V is the potential of a central field of forces the eigenfunctions of the Hamiltonian can be chosen real, and the corresponding field of velocity is zero everywhere. Those states correspond to the hydrostatic limit of equations (23,25),

where v 0 and ρ

∂t

= 0. In this limit

−∇(V + Q)=0,

(32)

4

that has the solution

(33)

which is equivalent to the equation that results from dividing by ρ both sides of the time independent Schrodinger equation:

V + Q = E,

2

2m ¯h ψ + V ψ = Eψ,

(34)

because ρ = ±ψ where the wave function is real. In general, a stationary state of the system described by equation (5) corresponds to a steady flux of the hydrodynamic model, and the value of the energy corresponds to Bernoulli’s integral of hydrodynamics. The equations for steady flux are

m(v · ∇)v = −∇V − ∇Q.

(35)

and

∇ · (ρv) = 0

If the flux is irrotational, m(v · ∇)v = transformed into

1

2

1

2 v 2 + V

+ Q

that has a first integral

(36)

m(v 2 ), and equation (35) is

= 0,

(37)

1

2m (φ) 2 + V + Q = E,

(38)

where φ is a scalar potential for the field mv, which is also irrotational. The continuity equation takes the form

∇ · (ρφ)=0.

(39)

Equations (38) and (39) determine the solutions of the time indepen-

dent Schrodinger equation, when the wave function is written in the form

= ρExp( iφ ). There is also a Bernoulli theorem for unsteady irrotational flux([4]).

ψ

h¯

Let’s do the substitutions m(v · ∇)v =

2 1 m(v 2 ) and mv = φ in (25):

φ

+

2m (φ) 2 = −∇V − ∇Q.

1

∂t

This equation can be written as.

(40)

∂φ ∂t

+

1

2m (φ) 2 + V

+ Q = 0,

(41)

showing that there is a function f (t) such that

Therefore

∂φ

∂t

+

1

2m (φ) 2 + V + Q = f (t).

∂χ

∂t

+

1

2m (χ) 2 + V + Q = 0,

5

(42)

(43)

where

χ = φ

f (t).

(44)

Equation (42) is equivalent to (21), which together with the continuity equation, determines the evolution of non stationary quantum states. This suggests that, at least for this system, non steady and possibly rotational fluxes, could be used to describe quantum jumps using causal functions.

3 Charged Particle in an Electromagnetic Field

The wave equation for a charged particle in an electromagnetic field gen- erated by the electrodynamic potentials Ω and A, subject to the Coulomb condition

∇ · A = 0,

is

(45)

i¯h Ψ ∂t In this case

=

¯h

2

e

2

2m Ψ + i¯h mc A · ∇Ψ + 2mc 2 A 2 Ψ + eΩΨ.

e

(46)

j

= 2m i¯h Ψ ΨΨ ) e

c

Ψ ΨA,

that can be written in the form

Ψ

Ψ

= 2i

¯h

Adding (48) and (11) we find that

Ψ

Ψ

mv + e c A .

where

mv + e c A = ¯hφ

φ =

2 i (ln ρ 2 ln Ψ)

Observe that now we have

(47)

(48)

(49)

(50)

∇ · p = ¯h φ

(51)

∇ × p = e c ∇ × A = e c H,

where H is the magnetic field. Furthermore

p.dl = e c Φ H

(52)

(53)

where Φ H is the magnetic flux embraced by the circuit of integration. Equation (52) shows that we could explain the Bohm-Aharonov effect as a manifestation of a physical relation between the field of momentum and the vector potential of the electromagnetic field. Actually:

dt

d

d

mv = e dt Φ H ,

c

6

(54)

which according to Faraday-Lenz law should be equal to

e E.dl,

(55)

where E is the intensity of the electric field. From (49) and (52), we deduce that

Ψ = ρ Exp(),

(56)

allowing us to show that (46) is equivalent to a pair of real equations(v. appendix)

ρ ∂t

=

m ¯h ρ · ∇φ

¯h

∂t = − m ¯ h ∇ √ ρ · ∇ φ − ¯ h 2

2m ρ φ + mc A · ∇ ρ

e

¯h φ ∂t

=

2m ¯hφ e

1

c A 2 + eΩ + Q

(57)

(58)

Using equation (49), (57) is transformed into

1

2m ρ∇ · mv + e c A + mc A · ∇ ρ.

(59)

Which, on account of (45), can be simplified to (20), which is equivalent to the continuity equation. We use now (49) to transform (58) into

ρ ∂t

m ρ · mv + e

1

c A

e

=

¯h φ ∂t = 1

2 mv 2 + eΩ + Q.

(60)

We take the gradient of both sides of this equation and reorder the terms to obtain

t mv + e

c A + 1 2 mv 2 = e− ∇Q

and then

 

m ∂v

∂t

+

1 2 mv 2 = eE − ∇Q,

where

E = −∇1

c

A

t

(61)

(62)

(63)

equals the external electric field. Using (24), (27) and (52), (62) can be written in the form

ρ m v ∂t

+ (v · ∇)v = E + eρ v × H + F,

c

(64)

showing thus that, also in this case, there is a valid hydrodynamic analogy.

7

A relativistic model of particle-wave duality

4

We consider a theoretical system made of two covariant fields ρ and p a , such that

(65)

p a p a = k 2

and

 

a (ρp a )=0.

From (65)

 

p b a p b = 0.

Therefore

ρp b a p b = p b a (ρp b ) p b p b a ρ = 0,

which can be written in the form

p b a (ρp b ) + k 2 a ρ = 0.

We use this to prove that

p b b (ρp a ) = p b (b (ρp a ) a (ρp b )) + k 2 a ρ,

and

p b b (ρp a ) = ρp b (b p a a p b )

+ p b (p a b ρ p b a ρ) + k 2 a ρ

(66)

(67)

(68)

(69)

(70)

(71)

= ρp b (b p a a p b ) + p b p a b ρ.

Equation (71) can be written in the form

u b b (ρp a ) = ρ e

c F ab u b + p a p b b ρ,

k

(72)

where e is the electronic charge; c is the speed of light;

a

u a = p k

(73)

is the four-velocity associated to p a ; F ab is an electromagnetic field gen- erated by a four-potential A a , such that

p a + e c A a = a Φ,

(74)

and Φ is a solution of the differential equation

a a Φ = a p a = p a a ρ .

(75)

ρ

(The second equality follows from equation (66).) Equation(72) describes a relativistic flux of charged particles under the action of an electromagnetic field and a density of four-force

f a = v a p b b ρ = ρv a p b b ρ

ρ

=

= ρv a b b Φ.

8

(76)

Under this interpretation p a is the four-momentum of the particles and ρ is the density of particles in the system of reference where they are in rest. According to equation (75), f a is a kind of reaction associated to in- terchange, creation and/or annihilation of particles, all of them processes under which the elements of the fluid lose their physical individuality, as has been observed by Prandtl & Tietjens[5]. Equations (74) and (75) are analogous to (49) and (19). Also,

(77)

which is analogous to (52). The electronic charge e and the mass of the particles, however, are in- troduced here in an arbitrary fashion. Also, although Φ has the units of action, it is not completely clear why Planck’s constant should be introduced—as the standard deviation of Φ, for example. Finally we note that the electrical current associated to the field F ik is given by the equation:

F ab = c

e

(a p b b p a ),

4π

c

j a = b F ab = c (a b p b b b p a ) =

e

(78)

e c (a b b Φ b b p a ),

which, again, includes a term that could be associated to interchange, creation and/or annihilation of particles.

5

Appendix

Let’s write the solution of equation (46) in the form

Then

i¯h Ψ ∂t

Ψ = Xe iφ .

= i¯h X ∂t

¯hX φ ∂t e iφ

(79)

(80)

2

2m ¯h Ψ =

2

2m ¯h X 2iXφ + X(φ) 2 iX φ e iφ

(81)

i mc e¯h A · ∇Ψ =

mc e¯h (iA · ∇X XA · ∇φ) e iφ

(82)

Adding term by term the real and imaginary parts of equations (80), (81) and (82), it is shown that (46) is mathematically equivalent to a system of real equations

∂X

∂t

=

m ¯h X · ∇φ

¯h

2m X φ + mc A · ∇X

e

¯h φ = ¯h 2

∂t

2m

X

X

+

2m ¯hφ e

1

c A 2 + e

(83)

(84)

9

References

[1] Aharonov, Y. and Bohm, D. Significance of Electromagnetic Poten- tials in the Quantum Theory. Phys. Rev. (Ser. 2) 115, 485-491, 1959.

[2] A. Messiah. Quantum Mechanics. Dover Ed. (1999).

[3] D. Bohm. A suggested interpretation of quantum theory in terms of ”hidden” variables I and II. Physical Review,85, 155-93 (1952).

[4] Rutherford Aris. Vectors, tensors and the basic equations of fluid mechanics. Dover (1989) pp. 105 & 131-32.

[5] Prandtl and Tietjens. Fundamentals of Hydro and Aeromechanics. Dover (1957) p. 9.

10