School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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p-Adic quantum mechanics is constructed from the Dirac-von Neumann axioms identifying quantum states with square-integrable functions on the N-dimensional p-adic space, Q_{p}^{N}. This choice is equivalent to the hypothesis of the discreteness of the space. The time is assumed to be a real variable. p-Adic quantum mechanics is the response to the question: what happens with the standard quantum mechanics if the space has a discrete nature? The time evolution of a quantum state is controlled by a nonlocal Schrödinger equation obtained from a p-adic heat equation by a temporal Wick rotation. This p-adic heat equation describes a particle performing a random motion in Q_{p}^{N}. The Hamiltonian is a nonlocal operator; thus, the Schrödinger equation describes the evolution of a quantum state under nonlocal interactions. In this framework, the Schrödinger equation admits complex-valued plane wave solutions, which we interpret as p-adic de Broglie waves. These mathematical waves have all wavelength p^{-1}. Then, in the p-adic framework, the double-slit experiment cannot be explained using the interference of the de Broglie waves. The wavefunctions can be represented as convergent series in the de Broglie waves. Then, these functions are just mathematical objects. Only the square of the modulus of a wave function has a physical meaning as a time-dependent probability density. These probability densities exhibit the classical interference patterns produced by `quantum waves.' In the p-adic framework, in the double-slit experiment, each particle goes through one slit only. Finally, we propose that the classical de Broglie wave-particle duality is a manifestation of the discreteness of space-time.

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