Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Infinite Potential: The Legacy of David Bohm

On Saturday 21st November I attended the above one-day "Open Dialogue" at Queen Mary College in London.The programme included presentations by Professor Bernard Carr, Professor Basil Hiley, Professor Leroy Little Bear, Lord Stone of Blackheath and our very own FORUM member (and fellow Wirralian but now living in Italy) Dr. F David Peat.

It was fascinating to hear anecdotes about Professor Bohm from those who knew him well such as Prof Hiley, Dr. Mary Cadogan and David Peat. I spoke to Professor Hiley after his presentation and we discussed the actual date of Alain Aspect's famed "Paris Experiment" (something that no book on the subject that I have read is precise about - usually it is stated as taking place in "the early 1980's). I am delighted to state that I received an email from Prof. Hiley yesterday that confirmed it to be 1981.

I also discussed with Prof. Hiley our mutual interest in the writings of the German philosopher Fichte.At lunch I experienced one of life's (probably) unique experiences .... sitting next to a Nobel Prize Winner. This was Professor Brian Josephson of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University. Prof. Josephson was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his discovery of the Josephson effect (don't you find it an amazing synchronicity that somebody called Josephson discovers an effect with exactly the same name as his own? Indeed this seems to happen a lot. I wonder why nobody has noticed this before?) This Josephson effect has important applications in quantum-mechanical circuits, such as SQUIDs. The eagle-eyed (or elephant-memoried) of you will recall that on page 395 of ITLAD you will find a note on these "superconducting quantum interference devices" and the work done on these at SUNY. Little was I to know at the time of writing that note that I was to have lunch with the man who discovery made this work possible! Honour indeed.Prof. Josephson is fascinated by parapsychology (this may come as a surprise to many "skeptics" who like to suggest that "real scientists" have no interest in such things. In fact Prof. Josephson had a fascinating "app" on his iphone that had been designed by Prof Russell Targ (what, another "real scientist" eh?) This had been designed to test psi.

Finally, David Peat finished off the day with a fascinating, and very moving, talk about Bohm's final years. The picture above is David's book on Bohm. It is well worth reading.

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