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The Dirac-Bohm Picture: Bohm’s 1952 Approach in a Wider Context

July 17, 2021 @ 6:01 pm8:00 pm CEST

20,00€ – 150,00€


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[block_title title=”The Dirac-Bohm Picture: Bohm’s 1952 Approach in a Wider Context”][/block_title]

Basil Hiley


Saturday July 17, 2021

9:00 PDT | 12:00 EDT | 17:00 BST  |  18:00 CEST

2-hour session

If you are unable to attend the live session, the recording will be available.

It has recently been shown that the Bohm approach outlined in his 1952 work is not a new type of ‘mechanics’ but is unitarily equivalent, i.e. mathematically equivalent, to the Schrödinger approach, dealing directly with canonical coordinates (x, p) rather than through the intermediary ‘wave functions’.  This fits in with the Stone-von Neumann theorem which explains why we already have the Schrödinger ‘picture’, the Heisenberg ‘picture’, the interaction ‘picture’ etc.  We have called it the Dirac-Bohm ‘picture’ based on a non-commutative algebra: it is from this picture that Bohm’s ’52 approach emerges.  The word ‘picture’ is here used in a technical sense, but can be taken as providing a different physical intuition with which to understand quantum phenomena.

Although many of the details are very technical, Hiley will try to explain how the ideas provide a new way of looking at quantum phenomena, which not only confirms Bohm’s philosophical insights, but adds a new meaning to terms like the ‘Bohm momentum’, the ‘osmotic momentum’ which, in turn, enables us to understand how the quantum potential fits in with the general notion of a gauge field.  The reason why the quantum potential gives rise to such a ‘strange’ force is that we are looking at it in terms of an interaction force.  However it gives rise to a different type of force which Einstein calls a ‘phoronometric’ force.  It is the type of potential that generates the Coriolis force which is responsible for the depressions arising in the Atlantic ocean giving us here in the UK such ‘wretched weather’ or the vortices that arise in the Bosporus.  What is not generally realised is that the perihelion precession of Mercury arises from just such a force in general relativity.  It is this mathematical structure that enables us to generate a new ‘dynamical geometry’ or better still a phoronometry providing new insights into the relation between the individual and the collective.

To see the Full Beyond Bohm Part 1 Series

Professor Basil Hiley, collaborator and colleague of David Bohm for over 30 years

Basil J. Hiley is a British quantum physicist and professor emeritus of the University of London. He received the Majorana Prize ‘Best Person in Physics’ in 2012. A long-time co-worker of David Bohm, Hiley is known for his work with Bohm on the implicate order and for his work on algebraic descriptions of quantum physics in terms of underlying symplectic and orthogonal Clifford algebras. Hiley co-authored the book The Undivided Universe with David Bohm, which is considered the main reference for Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory.

The work of Bohm and Hiley has been characterized as primarily addressing the question ‘whether we can have an adequate conception of the reality of a quantum system, be this causal or be it stochastic or be it of any other nature’ and meeting the scientific challenge of providing a mathematical description of quantum systems that matches the idea of an implicate order.

In 1961 Hiley was appointed assistant lecturer at Birkbeck College, where Bohm had taken the chair of Theoretical Physics shortly before. Hiley wanted to investigate how physics could be based on a notion of process, and he found that David Bohm held similar ideas. He reports that during the seminars he held together with Roger Penrose he was particularly fascinated by John Wheeler’s ‘sum over three geometries’ ideas that he was using to quantize gravity.

Hiley worked with David Bohm for many years on fundamental problems of theoretical physics. Initially Bohm’s model of 1952 did not feature in their discussions; this changed when Hiley asked himself whether the ‘Einstein-Schrödinger equation,’ as Wheeler called it, might be found by studying the full implications of that model. They worked together closely for three decades. Together they wrote many publications, including the book The Undivided Universe: An Ontological Interpretation of Quantum Theory, published 1993, which is now considered the major reference for Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory.

In 1995, Basil Hiley was appointed to the chair in physics at Birkbeck College at the University of London. He was awarded the 2012 Majorana Prize in the category The Best Person in Physics for the algebraic approach to quantum mechanics and furthermore in recognition of ‘his paramount importance as natural philosopher, his critical and open minded attitude towards the role of science in contemporary culture.’

Also see Beyond Bohm Part 2: Contemplation and Creativity

Saturdays and Sundays – August 14-15, 21-22, 28-29

Full Program Beyond Bohm 1 and 2 – Full Price €150, Member’s Discount €135: All 11 live sessions and recordings.
Beyond Bohm Part 1 – Full Price €80, Member’s Discount €72: 5 live sessions and recordings.
One session – Full Price €20, Member’s Discount €18: By purchasing one session, you will have access to any one session and recording. Tickets for individual sessions are available on the event page for that session.
Solidarity Full Program Beyond Bohm 1 and 2 – €75: All 11 live sessions and recordings. Please feel free to use this solidarity rate if you are under financial stress. The membership discount does not apply to this package.
Solidarity Beyond Bohm Part 1  – €40: Live sessions and recordings. Please feel free to use this solidarity rate if you are under financial stress. The membership discount does not apply to this package.

General Information 

All sessions will last for approximately 2 hours, and will be held over zoom.us. The session structure may vary from speaker to speaker, but in general participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter and in some cases there will be breakaway discussion groups.

Each session will be hosted by a member of the Pari Center Team, to ensure that the call is running smoothly and assist anyone experiencing technical problems.

During the presentations, we ask participants to turn off their microphone to ensure better quality audio. For this reason, the host may mute a participant’s audio. This is not to silence a participant’s voice, but to ensure an overall good audio quality. If a participant would like to ask a question or make a contribution to the discussion, they can use the ‘raise your hand’ tool in the chat, and then are welcome to turn on their microphone.

We invite all participants to turn on their video camera, as we believe that seeing everyone creates an inclusive educational environment. However, if any participant is uncomfortable, they are free to turn off the camera.

All sessions will be recorded. The recordings will not include the possible breakout-room discussions, but only the speaker’s presentation, follow-up discussions and Q&A. If a participant does not feel comfortable being recorded, we invite that participant to turn off their video and audio throughout the session. These recordings are available to anyone who has purchased a ticket for an attended session, or for a session they have paid for but were unable to attend.


July 17, 2021
6:01 pm – 8:00 pm CEST
20,00€ – 150,00€