Bohm, David, 1917-1992

Alternative names
Birth 1917-12-20
Death 1992-10-27

Biographical notes:

Bohm, 1917-1992.

From the description of Oral history interview with David Bohm, 1981 May 8. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79891373

Bohm, 1917-1992. Studied at Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1939. He moved to the California Institute of Technology for postgraduate work, completing his Ph.D. in 1943 at the University of California Berkeley under J. R. Oppenheimer. He then worked on the Manhattan Project at the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. In 1947 he was appointed assistant professor at Princeton University. He worked there until 1950, when Princeton refused to renew his contract after he had fallen foul of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. While working at the Radiation Laboratory during the war, Bohm had been active in the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians (FAECT) trade union. In 1949, as Cold War tensions increased, the Committee on Un-American Activities began investigating staff who had been working there. As a member of FAECT and as a former member of the Communist Party, Bohm came under suspicion. He was called upon to testify before the Committee but pleaded the Fifth Amendment, refusing to give evidence against colleagues. After the USSR tested its first atomic device in September 1949 it was thought that the atomic bomb secrets must have been passed to the USSR. It was alleged that members of FAECT had been in a Communist cell working at Berkeley during the war. In 1950 Bohm was charged with Contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions before the Committee and arrested. He was ac

quitted in May 1951 but Princeton had already suspended Bohm and after his acquittal refused to renew his contract. Bohm left for Brazil in 1951 to take up a Chair in Physics at the University of Sao Paulo. In 1955 he moved to Israel where he spent two years at the Technion at Haifa. Here he met his wife Saral, who was an important figure in the development of his ideas. In 1957 Bohm moved to the UK. He held a research fellowship at Bristol University until 1961, when he was made professor of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College, London. Bohm made a number of significant contributions to physics, particularly in the area of quantum mechanics. His scientific and philosophical views were inseperable. His holistic world-view posited an implicate order of inter-connectedness expressed in his 1980 book, Wholeness and the Implicate order. He retired in 1987 and was elected FRS in 1990.

From the description of Papers, 1933-1996. (American Institute of Physics). WorldCat record id: 84273924


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  • Plasma (Ionized gases)
  • Quantum theory
  • Art and science
  • Philosophy and science


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