Avoiding Negative Probabilities in Quantum Mechanics


As currently understood since its discovery, the bare Klein-Gordon theory consists of negative quantum probabilities which are considered to be physically meaningless if not outright obsolete. Despite this annoying setback, these negative probabilities are what led the great Paul Dirac in 1928 to the esoteric discovery of the Dirac Equation. The Dirac Equation led to one of the greatest advances in our understanding of the physical world. In this reading, we ask the seemingly senseless question, Do negative probabilities exist in quantum mechanics? In an effort to answer this question, we arrive at the conclusion that depending on the choice one makes of the quantum probability current, one will obtain negative probabilities. We thus propose a new quantum probability current of the Klein-Gordon theory. This quantum probability current leads directly to positive definite quantum probabilities. Because these negative probabilities are in the bare Klein-Gordon theory, intrinsically a result of negative energies, the fact that we here arrive at a theory with positive probabilities, means that negative energy particles are not to be considered problematic as is the case in the bare Klein-Gordon theory. From an abstract—objective stand-point; in comparison with positive energy particles, the corollary is that negative energy particles should have equal chances to exist. As to why these negative energy particles do not exist, this is analogous to asking why is it that Dirac’s antimatter does not exist in equal proportions with matter. This problem of why negative energy particles do not exist in equal proportions with positive energy particles is a problem that needs to be solved by a future theory.

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G. Nyambuya, "Avoiding Negative Probabilities in Quantum Mechanics," Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 1066-1074. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2013.48143.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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