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Would Bohr be born if Bohm were born before Born?

  1. Feb 9, 2007 #1


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    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

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    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


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    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


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

    Doc Al

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    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


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


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    Nice title! And interesting!

    AND: I'd suggest that you look at http://www.fritz-froehner.de/link01.htm 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
  10. Feb 21, 2007 #9


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    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


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    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


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    If someone is interested, now a revised version (on the link above) accepted for publication in American Journal of Physics is available.
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