The Mathematical Intelligencer

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 23–27 | Cite as

Confusion about Bohm

  • Mary Beth Ruskai
Department Mathematical communities


It is important to distinguish between physics, which is an experimental science, andphysicists, who are people. The latter are most certainlynot objective. Thus, Lipschütz-Yevick’s assertion that Ruskai says that the publication of Bohm’s controversial articles in thePhysical Review is evidence of the objectivity of the establishment towards [Bohm] is not supported by my statement

It should be noted that even though studying the foundations of quantum mechanics has long been far from the mainstream, it has never been suppressed. The papers of Bohm, Bell,et al. were published in reputable journals, …

Reasonable people may disagree on the significance of a particular theory or individual’s contribution. It is here, rather than in the physicsper se, that questions of social influence are likely to arise. I have commented elsewhere, e.g., [17], on the role that gender sometimes plays. In a subsequent article, I will also discuss the distinction between the effect of the social and political climate on the development of the careers of individuals and the development of physics.

The articles by Cronin and Lipschütz-Yevick have stimulated me to think anew about a number of issues related to Bohmian mechanics, for which a full discussion requires clarification of some technical issues regarding the EPR experiment and non-locality. These will be discussed in a forthcoming article.


Quantum Mechanic Quantum Theory Mathematical Intelligencer Schr6dinger Equation Bohmian Mechanic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Y. Aharanov, and L Vaidman, pp. 141–154 in Bohmian Mechanics and Quantum Theory: An Appraisal (ed. J. Cushinget al.), Kluwer Academic, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    K. Berndl, M. Daumer, D. Dürr, S. Goldstein, and N. Zangh, “A survey of Bohmian mechanics,” //Nuovo Cimento 110B, 737–750 (1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    J. Cronin, “Social influences on quantum mechanics, I,”Mathematical Intelligencer 23, no. 4, 15–17 (2001).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    P.A.M. Dirac,The Principles of Quantum Mechanics (Oxford, 1930).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    D. Dürr, S. Goldstein, and N. Zangh, “Quantum equilibrium and the origin of absolute uncertainty,”J. Stat. Phys. 67, 843–907(1992).CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    C. A. Fuchs and A. Peres, “Quantum theory needs no ‘interpretation,’”Phys. Today 53(3), 70–71 (March, 2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    S. Goldstein, “Quantum philosophy: The flight from reason in science:” pp. 119–125 in [11],Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    S. Goldstein, “Quantum theory without observers—Part One,”Phys. Today 51(3), 42–46 (March, 1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    S. Goldstein, “Quantum theory without observers—Part Two,”Phys. Today 51 (4), 38–42 (April, 1998).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    L. Graham, “Do mathematical equations display social attributes?”,Mathematical Intelligencer 22, no. 3, 31–36 (2000).CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    P. R. Gross, N. Levitt, and M. W. Lewis,The Flight from Science and Reason (New York Academy of Sciences, 1996).Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    M. Harris, “Contexts of justification,”Mathematical Intelligencer 23, no. 1, 18–22 (2001).CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    E. Lieb, “The stability of matter,”Rev. Mod. Phys. 48, 553–569 (1976).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    E. Lieb, “The stability of matter: From atoms to stars,”Bull. AMS 22, 1–49 (1990).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    W. Moore,Schrödinger: Life and Thought (Cambridge University Press, 1989).Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    F. D. Peat,Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm (Addison-Wesley, 1997).Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    M. B. Ruskai, “Are ‘feminist perspectives’ in mathematics feminist?” pp. 437–441 in [11].Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    M. Senechal, “Between discovery and justification,”Mathematical Intelligencer 23, no. 1, 16–17 (2001).CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    M. O. Scully, “Do Bohm trajectories always provide a trustworthy physical picture of particle motion,”Physica Scripta T76, 41–46 (1998).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    J. von Neumann,Mathematical Foundation of Quantum Mechanics (English translation, Princeton University Press, 1955).Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    A. Whitaker,Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma (Cambridge University Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    D. Wick,The Infamous Boundary (Birkhauser, 1995).Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    M. Lipschütz-Yevick, “Social influences on quantum mechanics, II,”Mathematical Intelligencer 23, no. 4, 18–22 (2001).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

Personalised recommendations