Quantum Locality?

Foundations of Physics 42 (5):647-655 (2012)
Abstract
Robert Griffiths has recently addressed, within the framework of a ‘consistent quantum theory’ that he has developed, the issue of whether, as is often claimed, quantum mechanics entails a need for faster-than-light transfers of information over long distances. He argues that the putative proofs of this property that involve hidden variables include in their premises some essentially classical-physics-type assumptions that are not entailed by the precepts of quantum mechanics. Thus whatever is proved is not a feature of quantum mechanics, but is a property of a theory that tries to combine quantum theory with quasi-classical features that go beyond what is entailed by quantum theory itself. One cannot logically prove properties of a system by establishing, instead, properties of a system modified by adding properties alien to the original system. Hence Griffiths’ rejection of hidden-variable-based proofs is logically warranted. Griffiths mentions the existence of a certain alternative proof that does not involve hidden variables, and that uses only macroscopically described observable properties. He notes that he had examined in his book proofs of this general kind, and concluded that they provide no evidence for nonlocal influences. But he did not examine the particular proof that he cites. An examination of that particular proof by the method specified by his ‘consistent quantum theory’ shows that the cited proof is valid within that restrictive version of quantum theory. An added section responds to Griffiths’ reply, which cites general possibilities of ambiguities that might make what is to be proved ill-defined, and hence render the pertinent ‘consistent framework’ ill defined. But the vagaries that he cites do not upset the proof in question, which, both by its physical formulation and by explicit identification, specify the framework to be used. Griffiths confirms the validity of the proof insofar as that pertinent framework is used. The section also shows, in response to Griffiths’ challenge, why a putative proof of locality that he has described is flawed
Keywords Nonlocality  Consistent quantum theory  Counterfactual
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Citations of this work BETA
Robert B. Griffiths (2013). Hilbert Space Quantum Mechanics is Noncontextual. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):174-181.
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