David Joseph Bohm, more commonly known as David Bohm, was an American-born British quantum physicist who was a leading expert in the fields of theoretical physics, neuropsychology and philosophy. He is regarded as one of the most greatest and most influential theoretical physicists of the 20th century.
Early Life and Education:
David Bohm was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to Jewish parents. His father owned a local furniture store. Bohm graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1939. After attending the California Institute of Technology in 1940, he acquired a doctorate in theoretical physics at the University of California, Berkeley under Robert Oppenheimer.
Contributions and Achievements:
David Bohm, a scientist-philosopher, was a rare combination of the spirit of science and philosophy. He was considered to be one of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists and the most influential among the new thinkers. He was a committed researcher and seeker who was intensely absorbed in the problems of the foundations of physics, studied the theory of relativity and developed an alternative interpretation of quantum mechanics in order to eliminate the philosophical paradoxes that seemed to be prevalent in quantum mechanics and developed a metaphysics, the philosophy of the implicate order, to steer humanity to a new profound vision of reality.
He followed the great tradition of Aristotle, in developing first a physics and finding that it was inadequate to explain the dynamic process of matter, life and consciousness, developed a metaphysics of the implicate and explicate order. The implicate-explicate order is the philosophical conclusion he had drawn from his life long research and musings in physics. Like Einstein-though for different reasons, Bohm has never been reconciled to the current quantum mechanics’ interpretations and proposed a hidden order which was at work beneath the seeming chaos and lack of continuity of individual particles of matter described by quantum mechanics.
Later Life and Death:
Bohm continued his work in quantum physics past his retirement in 1987, writing the posthumously published “The Undivided Universe: An ontological interpretation of quantum theory (1993)”, in collaboration with his friend Basil Hiley. He died of a heart failure in Hendon, London, on 27 October 1992. Bohm was 74 years old.