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David Bohm in the 1940s: Science, Scientific Style and Political Engagement

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Event Series Event Series: Infinite Potential– Summer Series

July 18, 2020 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm CEST

poster for Infinite Potential: Exploring the Life and Work of David Bohm – Summer Series

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David Bohm in the 1940s: Science, Scientific Style and Political Engagement

with Olival Freire Jr. 

July 18 at 18:00 (CEST) for a 2-hour live session  

When David Bohm arrived in California in the early 1940s for graduate studies he had already consolidated two intellectual trends which would characterize his whole life. He knew what kind of physics he enjoyed working on; while he was attracted to theoretical physics and had exhibited skills in mathematics, he had no patience for the solving problem style of physics he had found at Caltech. Instead he looked for speculative and conceptual science. Bohm, however, was not only concerned with science, for him science was part of a larger picture involving society as a whole. During the Great Depression he had shifted from a strong commitment to individualism along the lines of the American Dream to a more socially inclined, even sympathetic, social view. As for physics subjects, he began to work on a subject, plasma, which was inherited from the war effort and he moved to the subject to which he would dedicate his entire life: the quest to understand the quantum world. Olival will present and reflect on Bohm’s early stage of his mature life looking for elements of continuity we may find in his whole life.

Professor Olival Freire Jr., professor of physics and history of science

Olival Freire Jr. is Professor of Physics and History of Physics at the Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. In Brazil, he was trained in Physics (UFBA), he earned a PhD in History (USP) in 1995 and is fellow at the CNPq in History of Science.

He founded the Graduate Program in Science Teaching, History and Philosophy of Science at UFBA, in Brazil. He served as President of the Sociedade Brasileira de História da Ciência, the Commission on the History of Physics at DHST and as a member of the council of History of Science Society.

He was researcher at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science, MIT, Harvard, Université de Paris VII, University of Maryland, and Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics.

He has published a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as books and book chapters. He wrote The Quantum Dissidents—Rebuilding the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics 1950-1990, Springer, 2015, and David Bohm—A Life Dedicated to Understanding the Quantum World, Springer, 2019.

To see the full Summer Series and list of speakers click here


July 18, 2020
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CEST
29,00€ – 279,00€
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