Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Would Bohr be born if Bohm were born before Born?

  1. Feb 9, 2007 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I discuss a hypothetical historical context in which a Bohm-like deterministic interpretation of the Schrodinger equation could have been proposed before the Born probabilistic interpretation and argue that in such a context the Copenhagen (Bohr) interpretation would probably have never achieved great popularity among physicists.

    Comments are wellcome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2007 #2

    Gib Z

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Ahh if so, lets Call BOHR, pi, BOHM, e, and born, i, just to make things easier to distinguish lol! Even wen i read the title, i thought it was would bohr we born if bohm was born before bohr? and i was lost
  4. Feb 9, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Didn't read the paper, but I can surely make one comment. Schroedinger himself was from the start not very favorable to a probabilistic interpretation. So the idea wasn't new.
  5. Feb 15, 2007 #4
    lol it almost seems as if the modern interpretations look ridiculous...
  6. Feb 20, 2007 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well, that indeed was one of the intentions of the writer. :wink:
  7. Feb 20, 2007 #6

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I enjoyed the paper, despite the tongue-twisting title. Boh(e)mian Rhapsody--hilarious! I fully agree that the "Copenhagen Interpretation" would never have been taken seriously but for historical happenstance.

    Jim Cushing argues similarly in his "Quantum Mechanics: Historical Contingency and the Copenhagen Hegemony" (James T. Cushing; 1994)
  8. Feb 20, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  9. Feb 21, 2007 #8


    User Avatar


    Nice title! And interesting!

    AND: I'd suggest that you look at http://www.fritz-froehner.de/link01.htm [Broken] and use it to helpfully modify a little more history while you're at it.

    For there we see a common-sense theorem (available in 1915), which shows that any probability distribution may be represented by the absolute square of a complex Fourier polynomial.

    (1) p(x) = |Y(x)|^2 = |Y(x)*|^2 = Y(x)*Y(x).

    So if Bohm had been born before Born, Born's ''guessing'' might not have been needed!

    (Nor Bohm's non-locality? Which would be much more to my liking.)

    Regards, wm
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  10. Feb 21, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Thanks for the interesting paper, wm!

    Concerning nonlocality, there is no way to avoid it in Bohm-like approaches.
    In fact, the general Bell nonlocality theorem was inspired by the explicit nonlocality inherent to the Bohm interpretation.
  11. Feb 21, 2007 #10


    User Avatar

    Opting for locality.

    1. I agree.

    2. To the extent there's any merit in my own struggles: They are ''inspired'' by my inability to see any valid non-locality arising from Bell's theorem.

    3. In short: I believe the ''difficulties'' arise from Bell's limited (constrained) realism.

    4. That way (for me) locality remains unchallenged; in full accord with relativity.

    Time will tell. Regards, wm
  12. Sep 12, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If someone is interested, now a revised version (on the link above) accepted for publication in American Journal of Physics is available.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook