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Stability of Hidden-Variables Theories: De Broglie Versus Bohm

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Hidden-variables theories account for quantum mechanics in terms of a particular 'equilibrium' distribution of underlying parameters corresponding to the Born rule. A natural question to ask is whether the theory is stable under small perturbations away from equilibrium. We compare and contrast two examples: de Broglie's 1927 pilot-wave theory and Bohm's 1952 reformulation thereof. It is well established that in de Broglie's dynamics initial deviations from equilibrium will relax. We show that this is not the case for Bohm's dynamics: initial deviations from equilibrium do not relax and in fact grow with time. On this basis we argue that Bohm's dynamics is untenable as a physical theory (while de Broglie's dynamics remains a viable candidate). We advocate stability as a general selection criterion for hidden-variables theories.