AT THE DAWN OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS. PAULI, WOLFGANG. 1900-1958.; BOHM, DAVID. 1917-1992.  Typed Letter Signed ("W. Pauli") to physicist David Bohm offering his second and final critique of Bohm's hugely influential 1952 paper,

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Lot 9
AT THE DAWN OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS.
PAULI, WOLFGANG. 1900-1958.; BOHM, DAVID. 1917-1992.
Typed Letter Signed ("W. Pauli") to physicist David Bohm offering his second and final critique of Bohm's hugely influential 1952 paper,

US$ 15,000 - 25,000
£ 12,000 - 20,000
AT THE DAWN OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS.
PAULI, WOLFGANG. 1900-1958.; BOHM, DAVID. 1917-1992. Typed Letter Signed ("W. Pauli") to physicist David Bohm offering his second and final critique of Bohm's hugely influential 1952 paper, 2 pp, typed with autograph additions, on Physikalisches Institut letterhead, Zurich, December 3, 1951, folds, with small closed tears at the edges of folds.

THE ADVENT OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS. The only known surviving letter from Nobelist Wolfgang Pauli to David Bohm, this important letter is a pre-publication critique of Bohm's landmark paper, "Suggested Interpretation of the Quantum Theory in Terms of Hidden Variables." In opposition to the orthodox ("Copenhagen") school of quantum physics, Bohm's 1952 article affirmed that it was indeed possible to incorporate determinism into Quantum models. Bohm's paper revitalized and modified the concept of a De Broglie "pilot wave" and his new theory resembled one that De Broglie himself had unsuccessfully advanced at the 1927 Solvay Conference. Pauli was in fact the most vocal critic of De Broglie's theory back in 1927 – Pauli's critique effectively demolishing the theory – and in this remarkable letter, Pauli here offers his pre-publication critique of what has come to be called "Bohmian Mechanics" or "De Broglie-Bohm Theory."

In early 1951, Bohm submitted a draft of his new paper to Pauli, which Pauli duly critiqued (including pointing out the similarity to De Broglie's 1927 work). Bohm incorporated Pauli's criticism into a second draft, and sent Pauli the emended text. The present letter is his full response, he opens, "I do not see any longer the possibility of any logical contradiction as long as your results agree completely with those of the usual wave mechanics and as long as no means is given to measure the values of your hidden parameters both in the measuring apparatus and in the observed system." But appends a word of caution: "as far as the whole matter stands now, your 'extra wave-mechanical predictions' are still a check, which cannot be cashed." After noting that De Broglie had already formulated the concept of "quantum-energy potential," Pauli gives a detailed discussion of Bohm's use of the Schrodinger psi-function, and concludes that he himself is inclined to a view of physics in which "the laws of nature themselves exclude the possibility even to conceive the disturbances in the observer's own body and own brain connected with his own observations."

Though Bohm's work would change the face of physics, his theory was slow to be accepted. Famed physicist John Bell championed Bohm's work, acknowledging "In 1952 I saw the impossible done. It was in papers by David Bohm" (Bell, p 160). Bell's 1964 paper on quantum entanglement ("On the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox") brought Bohm's views back into mainstream consideration, where it has only grown in stature over more than 50 years. Bohm's thought evolved over the years, expanding into researches on causality, non-locality, holism, holograms, and the nature of consciousness – culminating in his ontological conception of an "implicate order" actively supporting the apparent "explicate" order of the physical world. Bohm's thought is now foundational for modern theories of Quantum Consciousness seeking to unify mind and nature.

Pauli won the Nobel Prize in 1945 for his formulation of the Exclusion Principle and remained a fierce defender of the older models of quantum physics. At the time of this correspondence, Bohm had just published a textbook on classical Quantum Physics (in which he denied the viability of hidden variable theories) and was considered a rising star (Einstein reportedly called Bohm his "intellectual successor.") Pauli's 1951 engagement with Bohm materially improved Bohm's hidden variable paper, and somewhat ironically, Pauli can be seen as a midwife to the birth of Quantum Consciousness. Letters by Pauli of such major scientific significance are exceptionally rare. A remarkable document at the crossroads of the new physics.

See Bell, J.S. Speakable and Unspeakable in Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge: University Press, 1987.
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AT THE DAWN OF QUANTUM CONSCIOUSNESS. PAULI, WOLFGANG. 1900-1958.; BOHM, DAVID. 1917-1992.  Typed Letter Signed ("W. Pauli") to physicist David Bohm offering his second and final critique of Bohm's hugely influential 1952 paper,
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