Violation of the correspondence principle: breakdown of the Bohm-Newton trajectory correspondence in a macroscopic system

Boon Leong Lan

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    The trajectory predicted by Bohm’s quantum equation of motion, using an initially angle-localized minimum-uncertainty Gaussian wave packet, is compared with the trajectory predicted by Newton’s classical equation of motion for a macroscopic periodically kicked pendulum system. We find that, in violation of the strong form of the correspondence principle, the Bohmian trajectory does not, in general, agree or correspond with the Newtonian trajectory for all times. The Bohm-Newton trajectory correspondence holds as long as the wave packet remains localized in angle. Delocalization of the wave packet in angle triggers the breakdown of the correspondence. The breakdown occurs exponentially quickly if either the Newtonian trajectory that initially coincides with the Bohmian trajectory or one of its classical neighbors is chaotic. In contrast, the breakdown occurs much slower if neither the Newtonian trajectory nor its neighbors are chaotic. These behaviors of the Bohm-Newton trajectory correspondence are generic, or universal, for the class of macroscopic Hamiltonian dynamical systems with bound coordinate space since the kick pendulum is a prototypical member. We predict that neither Bohm’s equation of motion nor Newton’s correctly predicts the experimentally observed and measured trajectory of a macroscopic system after the breakdown of the correspondence, implying that the all-times agreement required by the strong form of the correspondence principle is unnecessary.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number032105
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhysical Review A
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000

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