The Quantum Potential

By David Peat December 28, 2013

Bohm’s Hidden Variable theory had been an attempt to create a “realistic” interpretation of quantum theory, one that did not deal with waves of probability but in which the electron had a definite path, causally created. But as a result of Oppenheimer’s dismissal of Bohm’s theory, the physicist became regarded as something of a maverick. In turn Bohm himself lost interest in his own theory.

Then in the early 1970 one of his students, Chris Philippidis, decided to test out the theory on a computer and plotted the paths an electron could take when it encountered a barrier with two slits. Bohm was excited to see the results and decided to revive his theory. He did this by adding a new term to the Schrodinger Equation which he called the Quantum Potential.

The conventional Schrodinger Equation contains two terms, one dealing with Kinetic Energy and the other with Potential Energy. When a negatively charged electron encounters an electrical field the force it experiences depends on the strength of the field, in other words the strength of the Electrical Potential.

The Quantum Potential is very different for its effect on the electron does not depend on its strength but on its form, that is to say its shape. Thus Bohm uses the term in-form-ation. In other words the experimental surrounding of an electron is encoded in the Quantum Potential. It is information about the electron’s surroundings and the electron has the ability of “read” this information. Bohm used to joke that the electron must be at least as complicated as a television set. In short the electron has proto-mind and mind has been present since the origin of the universe. In turn Bohm distinguished between Active Information, Passive Information and Inactive Information.