Basil Hiley is one of the most outstanding living quantum physicists. He is well-known by the great public for his incisive thoughts in quantum philosophy and his work about the Implicate Order in which he became interested during his long collaboration with David Bohm. Hiley is considered the main reference for Bohm's interpretation of quantum theory (quantum potential, pilot wave).
Basil once told me the following:
"I do what I do, not for the glory, but for the excitement I get from just doing it! I cannot be an intellectual because I am a football maniac, a game I first played on the maidan in Lahore Cantonment. For the first 11 years of my life I had little formal education, traveling the hot dusty planes of India or the foothills of the Himalaya mountains. I was a kite runner and I used to climb the cud sides. No quantum mechanics, no maths, no philosophy just communing with nature. Maybe that is why I think all of nature at its deepest level is organic."
Basil is also known for his work on algebraic descriptions of quantum physics in terms of underlying symplectic and orthogonal Clifford algebras, and for his work on foundational issues. He has honoured me by writing the foreword to my book "Principles of Newtonian and Quantum Mechanics"; we have also written together a few papers:
- M. A. de Gosson and B. J. Hiley, Imprints of the Quantum World in Classical Mechanics, Foundations of Physics (26 February 2011), pp. 1–22
- B. J. Hiley, M. A. de Gosson and E. Binz, Clifford Algebras in Symplectic Geometry and Quantum Mechanics, (2011)
- M. A. de Gosson and B. J. Hiley, Zeno Paradox for Bohmian Trajectories: The Unfolding of the Metatron, (2010), submitted to Foundations of Physics. arXiv:1001.2622 v1
Below a picture of Basil and me at a conference dinner, somewhere in the world: