Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

de Broglie’s wave hypothesis from Fisher information

  • Author(s): Frieden, B.Roy
  • Soffer, Bernard H
  • et al.

Seeking the unknown dynamics obeyed by a particle gives rise to the de Broglie wave representation, without the need for physical assumptions specific to quantum mechanics. The only required physical assumption is conservation of momentum μ. The particle, of mass m, moves through free space from an unknown source-plane position a to an unknown coordinate x in an aperture plane of unknown probability density pX(x), and then to an output plane of observed position y=a+z. There is no prior knowledge of the probability laws p(a,M),p(a) or p(M), with M the particle momentum at the source. It is desired to (i)optimally estimate a, in the sense of a maximum likelihood (ML) estimate. The estimate is further optimized, by minimizing its error through (ii) maximizing the Fisher information about a that is received at y. Forming the ML estimate requires (iii) estimation of the likelihood law pZ(z), which (iv) must obey positivity. The relation pZ(z)=|u(z)|*2≥0 satisfies this. The same u(z) conveniently defines the Fisher channel capacity, a concept central to the principle of Extreme physical information (EPI). Its output u(z) achieves aims (i)–(iv). The output is parametrized by a free parameter K. For a choice K=0, the result is u(z)=δ(z), indicating classical motion. Or, for a finite, empirical choice K=h¯(Planck’s constant), u(z) obeys the familiar de Broglie representation as the Fourier transform of the particle’s probability amplitude function P(μ) on momentum μ. For a definite momentum μ, u(z) becomes a sinusoid of wavelength λ= h¯/μ, the de Broglie result.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View