Today we had an interesting Quantum Science Seminar by Peter Riggs, author of Quantum Causality: Conceptual Issues in the Causal Theory of Quantum Mechanics.
Other names for the causal theory are Bohmian mechanics, De Broglie's pilot-wave theory, ontological quantum theory...
The talk provided a nice overview of the theory and different objections to it. Riggs is an advocate of the theory, claiming it "solves" the measurement problem.
He does not seem concerned that relativistic and spin versions of the theory seem a rare species or intractable.
I was intrigued that Riggs invoked physical chemists, such as Robert E. Wyatt, in a manner that suggested that they were advocates of the theory. Wyatt has had considerable success in applying the mathematics of Bohmian mechanics to solve quantum dynamics problems in chemistry. He is the author of Quantum dynamics with trajectories. However, my impression is that Wyatt and his collaborators are purely motivated by the fact that the Bohmian equations [without any philosophy attached] allow considerable computational savings. They are just a different way of encoding the standard quantum physics.
In fact, in a comment on a Science paper "Observing the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer"[which incidentally contained lots of technical errors...] Wyatt concludes
Many adherents to Bohm’s version of quantum mechanics assert that the trajectories are what particles actually do in nature. From the experimental results above no one would claim that photons actually traversed these trajectories, since the momentum was only measured on average and the pixel size of the CCD is still quite large. Other views of Bohm’s trajectories do not go as far as to claim that they are what particles actually do in nature. But instead, the Bohm trajectories can be viewed simply as hydrodynamical trajectories [5, 7] that have equations of motion with an internal force that appears when one changes from a phase space to a position space discription. Recently, it has also been shown that the Bohm trajectories can in fact be generated without any equations of motion ...., one concludes again that they Bohm trajectories are simply hydrodynamical and kinematically portraying the evolution of the probability density. The average photon trajectories can be viewed likewise.So, Eric Bittner, are you a Bohmian? or just a pragmatic quantum guy?