Quantum Mechanics and Dr. Bohm | May Oct 87-Apr 88

FMBR Editorial: Updated Jan 3, 1997

Quantum Mechanics and Dr. Bohm

William C. Gough

In quantum physics there exists a quantum mechanical field associated with each particle. This field is expressed by a wave function that obeys a mathematical equation known as the Schroedinger's equation. The generally accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics is that quantum theory gives only statistical rules for connecting phenomena. To give a picture of reality, Bohm has reinterpreted quantum mechanics based upon a model originally proposed by De Broglie. His view of reality emerges naturally when the model of De Broglie is extended from the particle to the quantum mechanical field. Bohm notes that the mathematics implies that this quantum field acts upon the particle not by mechanical pressure but more like a radar wave that is guiding a ship on automatic pilot. This suggests that the quantum field acts as information. The wave function thus becomes a kind of mental side of the particle, the information content determining its nature and activity.

An electron is behaving much as we do when we react to a situation. To the extent that an electron responds to a meaning in its environment, it is "observing" its environment, gathering information, and responding accordingly. It behaves in strange ways, like being a wave and a particle at the same time and jumping from one state to another without passing in between - things that cannot be understood but only be calculated statistically. Thus, there is a common activity in which the electron participates and is guided by the quantum or information field. The wave function that describes the quantum field could be considered the score of a dance; a score that is not fixed but depends upon the initial configuration of the dance. If the wave function has a special form (mathematically called factorize) then the various dances are independent, i.e., we get a more classical behavior. Schroedinger's equation gives the rules by which the dance can evolve and change. The conclusion: consciousness can't be divorced from matter.

William C. Gough