Thad Roberts on Bohm’s Work in Physics

The theoretical physicist Thad Roberts wrote an interesting reply to the question on Quora of Why don’t more physicists subscribe to pilot wave theory?

Physicists today remain largely unaware of the fact that quantum mechanics is perfectly choreographed by the mathematics of the de Broglie-Bohm theory, otherwise known as Bohmian mechanics. Despite the fact that Bohm’s formalism is entirely deterministic, and less vague than the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, so far it has only been widely recognized and embraced among philosophers of physics.
There are several historical events, or “unfortunate accidents,” that have led to the present ignorance of the superior mathematical clarity Bohm’s formalism offers. Understanding this historical posture goes a long way towards explaining why the orthodox or “standard” interpretation of quantum mechanics is still held by the majority of physicists today—something that I would argue is one of the greatest intellectual tragedies of our time.

In his reply his also links to a lecture by Mike Towler on the pilot wave theory that our readers may also find interesting.

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A Discussion between Professor David Bohm and Professor Maurice Pryce (1961)

This discussion is available to read on our website.

The conversation starts off with Professor Maurice Pryce stating:

In this discussion I seem to stand for orthodoxy and you for unorthodoxy—that’s fair, isn’t it? For instance, you’d criticize the orthodox viewpoint on the ground that it doesn’t give enough prominence to actuality in physical theory. Is that right?