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.

David Bohm and the Big Bang

On account the recently published scientific paper by Ahmed Farag Ali and Saurya Das, Cosmology from quantum potential, David Bohm and his work is being mentioned again.

Salon states: “In their paper, Ali and Das applied these Bohmian trajectories to an equation developed in the 1950s by physicist Amal Kumar”.

And see, for example, No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning.

We will take this opportunity to share some of David Bohm’s comments on the Big Bang:

“With all this in mind let us consider the current generally accepted notion that the universe, as we know it, originated in what is almost a single point in space and time from a “big bang” that happened some ten thousand million years ago.  In our approach this “big bang” is to be regarded as actually just a “little ripple”.  AN interesting image is obtained by considering that in the middle of the acutal ocean (i.e., on the surface of the Earth) myriads of smal waves occasionally come together fortuitously with such phase relationships that they end up in a certain small region of space, suddenly to produce a very high wave which just appears as if from nowhere and out of nothing.  Perhaps something like this could happen in the immense ocean of cosmic energy, creating a sudden wave pulse, from which our “universe” would be bron.  This pulse would explode outward and break up into smaller ripples that spread yet further outward to constitute  our “expanding universe.” The latter would have its “space” enfolded within it as a special distinguished explicate and manifest order.”  — David Bohm

“I propose something like this: Imagine an infinite sea of energy
filling empty space, with waves moving around in there, occasionally
coming together and producing an intense pulse. Let’s say one
particular pulse comes together and expands, creating our universe of
space-time and matter. But there could well be other such pulses. To
us, that pulse looks like a big bang; In a greater context, it’s a
little ripple. Everything emerges by unfoldment from the holomovement,
then enfolds back into the implicate order. I call the enfolding
process “implicating,” and the unfolding “explicating.” The implicate
and explicate together are a flowing, undivided wholeness. Every part
of the universe is related to every other part but in different degrees.” — David Bohm