The Legacy of David Bohm: from Plasma Physics, through Quantum Mechanics to the Philosophy of Mind

The Legacy of David Bohm: from Plasma Physics, through Quantum Mechanics to the Philosophy of Mind – Prof Basil Hiley

David Bohm’s contribution to physics has been wide and varied and not without controversy.  He belonged to the old school category of Philosopher-Scientist’, no doubt influenced to some degree by his discussions with Einstein in their Princeton days.  Bohm and I were colleagues at Birkbeck College for over thirty years, and we spent hours debating many topics from quantum mechanics, to relativity, biology, concept formation, language, consciousness and many philosophical questions. Personally, it was an extremely rich experience.  We coauthored over twenty academic papers, finally putting together a book The Undivided Universe summarising the earlier work we explored together.  We planned a second book but unfortunately he died before we could get anything down on paper.  In my talk I will highlight some aspects of what I think were his major contributions, mainly in my own field of physics.  I will try to give a flavour and spirit in which Bohm explored many difficult issues that still remain today.  I will also give an overview of the experiments that I am involved in at present with a group at University College London.  These experiments were inspired by his contributions to understanding quantum phenomena.

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