Recently, I read Bohm's articles explaining his interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. I did not find anything "bad" with it, so why didn't anybody pursue it further? Any experimental evidence against its predictions?
As I recall, Bohm's version of QM doesn't make any experimental predictions that distinguish it from "standard" QM, so there isn't even a possibility of experimental evidence one way or the other.George Isaac said:Recently, I read Bohm's articles explaining his interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. [...] Any experimental evidence against its predictions?
Here are Bohm's own words on the subject, written around the time of his retirement in 1987:George Isaac said:Recently, I read Bohm's articles explaining his interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. I did not find anything "bad" with it, so why didn't anybody pursue it further? Any experimental evidence against its predictions?
These proposals did not actually 'catch on' among physicists. The reasons are quite complex and difficult to assess. Perhaps the main objection was that the theory gave exactly the same predictions for all experimental results as does the usual theory. I myself did not give much weight to these objections. Indeed, it occurred to me that if de Broglie's ideas had won the day at the Solvay Congress of 1927, they might have become the accepted interpretation; then, if someone had come along to propose the current interpretation, one could equally well have said that since, after all, it gave no new experimental results, there would be no point in considering it seriously. In other words, I felt that the adoption of the current interpretation was a somewhat fortuitous affair, since it was affected not only by the outcome of the Solvay Conference but also by the generally positivist empiricist attitude that pervaded physics at the time. This attitude is in many ways even stronger today, and shows up in the fact that a model that gives insight without an 'empirical pay-off' cannot be taken seriously.
I did try to answer these criticisms to some extent by pointing out that the enriched conceptual structure of the causal interpretation was capable of modifications and new lines of development that are not possible in the usual interpretation. These could, in principle, lead to new empirical predictions, but unfortunately there was no clear indication of how to choose such modifications from among the vast range that was possible. And so these arguments had little effect as an answer to those who require a fairly clear prospect of an empirical test before they will consider an idea seriously.
In addition, it was important that the whole idea did not appeal to Einstein, probably mainly because it involved the new feature of non-locality, which went against his strongly-held conviction that all connections had to be local. I felt this response of Einstein was particularly unfortunate, both during the Solvay Congress and afterwards, as it almost certainly 'put off' some of those who might otherwise have been interested in this approach.