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Quantum mechanics has a deterministic Schrödinger equation for the wave function. The Göttingen-Copenhagen statistical interpretation is based on the Born Rule that interprets the wave function as a ‘probability amplitude’. A precept of this interpretation is the lack of determinism in quantum mechanics. The Bohm interpretation is that the wave function is a source of a field experienced by the electrons, thereby attributing determinism to quantum theory. In this paper we present a new perspective on such determinism. The ideas are based on the equations of motion or ‘Quantal Newtonian’ Laws obeyed by each electron. These Laws, derived from the temporal and stationary-state Schrödinger equation are interpreted in terms of ‘classical’ fields whose sources are quantal expectations of Hermitian operators taken with respect to the wave function. According to the Second Law, each electron experiences an external field - the quantal Coulomb-Lorentz law. It also experiences an internal field representative of properties of the system: correlations due to Coulomb repulsion and Pauli principle; the density; kinetic effects; and an internal magnetic field component. There is a response field. The First Law states that the sum of the external and internal fields experienced by each electron vanishes. These fields are akin to those of classical physics: They pervade all space; their structure is descriptive of the quantum system; the energy of the system is stored in these fields. It is in the classical behavior of these fields, which arise from quantal sources that one may then speak of determinism in quantum mechanics.


This is the author's accepted manuscript of an article originally published in the Journal of Chemical Physics, available at

The published version of this article is also available at



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