The zig-zag road to reality


Colin, S. (2010). The zig-zag road to reality. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/10120070


Colin, Samuel. The zig-zag road to reality. Perimeter Institute, Dec. 03, 2010, https://pirsa.org/10120070


          @misc{ pirsa_10120070,
            doi = {10.48660/10120070},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/10120070},
            author = {Colin, Samuel},
            keywords = {Quantum Foundations},
            language = {en},
            title = {The zig-zag road to reality},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2010},
            month = {dec},
            note = {PIRSA:10120070 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}

Samuel Colin Griffith University


The de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave program is an attempt to formulate quantum theory (including quantum field theory) as a theory without observers, by assuming that the wave-function is not the complete description of a system, but must be supplemented by additional variables (beables). Although many progress has been made in order to extend the pilot-wave theory to quantum field theory, a compelling ontology for quantum field theory is still lacking and the choice of beable is likely to be relevant for the study of quantum non-equilibrium systems and their relaxation properties (Valentini). The present work takes its root in the fact that in the standard model of particle physics, all fermions are fundamentally massless and acquire their bare mass when the Higgs field condenses. In our tentative to build a pilot-wave model for quantum field theory in which beables are attributed to massless fermions, we are naturally led to Weyl spinors and to Penrose's zig-zag picture of the electron. In my talk, I will sketch this tentative and insist on some of its remarkable properties: namely that a positive-energy massive Dirac electron can be thought of as a superposition of positive and negative energy Weyl spinors of the same helicity, and that the massive Dirac electron can in principle move luminally at all times. Based on a joint work with H. Wiseman.