128- David Bohm
David Bohm, 1917-1992, seemed driven by twin, contradictory impulses, to clarify and mystify reality. Credit: ... He had been a friend of Krishnamurti, one of the first modern Indian sages to try to show ...
Born and raised in the U.S., Bohm left in 1951, the height of anti-communist hysteria, after refusing to answer questions from a Congressional committee about whether he or anyone he knew was a communist. After stays in Brazil and Israel, he settled in England. Bohm was a scientific dissident too. He rebelled against the dominant interpretation of quantum mechanics, the so-called Copenhagen interpretation promulgated by Danish physicist Niels Bohr.
Bohm began questioning the Copenhagen interpretation in the late 1940s while writing a book on quantum mechanics. According to the Copenhagen interpretation, a quantum entity such as an electron has no definite existence apart from our observation of it. We cannot say with certainty whether it is either a wave or a particle. The interpretation also rejects the possibility that the seemingly probabilistic behavior of quantum systems stems from underlying, deterministic mechanisms.
Bohm found this view unacceptable. “The whole idea of science so far has been to say that underlying the phenomenon is some reality which explains things,” he explained. “It was not that Bohr denied reality, but he said quantum mechanics implied there was nothing more that could be said about it.” Such a view reduced quantum mechanics to “a system of formulas that we use to make predictions or to control things technologically. I said that's not enough. I don’t think I would be very interested in science if that were all there was.”
In 1952 Bohm proposed that particles are indeed particles--and at all times, not just when they are observed in a certain way. Their behavior is determined by a force that Bohm called the “pilot wave.” Any effort to observe a particle alters its behavior by disturbing the pilot wave. Bohm thus gave the uncertainty principle a purely physical rather than metaphysical meaning. Niels Bohr had interpreted the uncertainty principle as meaning “not that there is uncertainty, but that there is an inherent ambiguity” in a quantum system, Bohm explained.
Bohm’s interpretation gets rid of one quantum paradox, wave/particle duality, but it preserves and even highlights another, nonlocality, the capacity of one particle to influence another instantaneously across vast distances. Einstein had drawn attention to nonlocality in 1935 in an effort to show that quantum mechanics must be flawed. Together with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, Einstein proposed a thought experiment involving two particles that spring from a common source and fly in opposite directions.(Huệ Hương ST)