Unified derivation of Bohmian methods and the incorporation of interference effects

Yair Goldfarb, Jeremy Schiff and David Tannor

Journal of Physical Chemistry A 111 10416-10421 (2007).

We present a unified derivation of Bohmian methods that serves as a common starting point for the derivative propagation method (DPM), Bohmian mechanics with complex action (BOMCA), and the zero-velocity complex action method (ZEVCA). The unified derivation begins with the ansatz ψ=eiS where the action (S) is taken to be complex, and the quantum force is obtained by writing a hierarchy of equations of motion for the phase partial derivatives. We demonstrate how different choices of the trajectory velocity field yield different formulations such as DPM, BOMCA, and ZEVCA. The new derivation is used for two purposes. First, it serves as a common basis for comparing the role of the quantum force in the DPM and BOMCA formulations. Second, we use the new derivation to show that superposing the contributions of real, crossing trajectories yields a nodal pattern essentially identical to that of the exact quantum wavefunction. The latter result suggests a promising new approach to deal with the challenging problem of nodes in Bohmian mechanics.