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.

Wave/Particle Duality: Interesting Visualization with Parallels to Bohm’s Work

Your question is excellent. We call a walker the ensemble of the droplet and its associated wave. Since the work you refer to we have shown that the wave field contains a memory of the past trajectory that is at the origin of the quantum like effects we observe. You will find attached a recent work dealing with this effect. In the double slit experiment, while the droplet passes through one slit the associated wave passes through both so that one coud say that the walker passes through both. Our system is similar to a pilot wave system and this is what we are working on recently. These models are usually called de Broglie – Bohm models, a term that is very misleading because the two approaches are different from one another. Bohm gets a dynamical equation from Shrödinger equation so that it concerns the dynamics of a maximum of probability. What de Broglie had in mind was a the dynamics of an individual particle associated with a wave. Our system appears to be closer to de Broglie. — Yves Couder

View the paper that the following video is referring to: Single-Particle Diffraction and Interference at a Macroscopic Scale

Short but Interesting Correspondence between Sheldon Goldstein and Steven Weinberg on Bohmian Mechanics

At the website there is an email exchange posted between Sheldon Goldstein and Steven Weinberg on Bohmian Mechanics.

A quote from this exchange:

Now all this has assumed the adequacy of the Copenhagen interpretation, so that we could compare two adequate formulations – Bohmian mechanics and the Copenhagen interpretation – with respect to simplicity and other criteria for judging theories. But you seem to agree with me that the Copenhagen interpretation is not adequate. You should therefore appreciate why others who agree with us on this, and who are not aware of any other adequate alternatives to the Copenhagen interpretation, might be attracted to Bohmian mechanics: They want to make sense of quantum mechanics, something that the Copenhagen interpretation manifestly does not do and that Bohmian mechanics manifestly does. — Shelly Goldstein

A Survey on Quantum Mechanics

Maximilian Schlosshauer, Johannes Kofler, and Anton Zeilinger have published a survey they did that is titled A Snapshot of Foundational Attitudes Toward Quantum Mechanics. Their survey involved a total of 33 participants from a a conference on the foundations of quantum mechanics.

This attitude was prevalent in Bohm’s time as well.  However, slowly things seem to be getting better despite what this particular survey portrays.

Interestingly, only 21% of the participants stated that Bohr’s view of quantum mechanics is correct.