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Duerr, Detlef; Goldstein, Sheldon and Zanghi, Nino (2020): Quantum Motion on Shape Space and the Gauge Dependent Emergence of Dynamics and Probability in Absolute Space and Time. In: Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 180: pp. 92-134

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Relational formulations of classical mechanics and gravity have been developed by Julian Barbour and collaborators. Crucial to these formulations is the notion of shape space. We indicate here that the metric structure of shape space allows one to straightforwardly define a quantum motion, a Bohmian mechanics, on shape space. We show how this motion gives rise to the more or less familiar theory in absolute space and time. We find that free motion on shape space, when lifted to configuration space, becomes an interacting theory. Many different lifts are possible corresponding in fact to different choices of gauges. Taking the laws of Bohmian mechanics on shape space as physically fundamental, we show how the theory can be statistically analyzed by using conditional wave functions, for subsystems of the universe, represented in terms of absolute space and time.

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