Entanglement and Non-Locality: EPR, Bell and the consequences

In Cord Friebe, Meinard Kuhlmann, Holger Lyre, Paul Näger, Oliver Passon & Manfred Stöckler (eds.), Philosophy of Quantum Physics. Springer International (2018)

Paul M. Näger
University of Münster
Entangled states are a specific feature of quantum physics that neither have a counterpart in classical physics nor in the realm of our ordinary experiences. In this chapter we outline the debate about these particular states both historically and systematically. We delineate how the debate originated in an argument for the incompleteness of quantum mechanics by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, and we show why, on the one hand, the argument is not considered convincing today, on the other hand, however, still affects present discussions. In a second part we give a systematic overview over the contemporary debate on entanglement which focusses on Bell’s theorem and its consequences. Discerning different levels, we reconstruct the theorem and its premises in a clear way and discuss possible consequences. We analyze in detail the received view that Bell’s theorem implies non-locality and relate it to concepts such as “non-separability‘ and “holism‘. Especially we examine the question whether the phenomena involving entangled systems can be explained causally and whether the central conflict between a non-locality and the theory of relativity can be solved.
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