The Quantum World is not Built up from Correlations

Foundations of Physics 36 (10):1573-1586 (2006)

M. P. Seevinck
Utrecht University
It is known that the global state of a composite quantum system can be completely determined by specifying correlations between measurements performed on subsystems only. Despite the fact that the quantum correlations thus suffice to reconstruct the quantum state, we show, using a Bell inequality argument, that they cannot be regarded as objective local properties of the composite system in question. It is well known since the work of Bell, that one cannot have locally preexistent values for all physical quantities, whether they are deterministic or stochastic. The Bell inequality argument we present here shows this is also impossible for correlations among subsystems of an individual isolated composite system. Neither of them can be used to build up a world consisting of some local realistic structure. As a corrolary to the result we argue that entanglement cannot be considered ontologically robust. The Bell inequality argument has an important advantage over others because it does not need perfect correlations but only statistical correlations. It can therefore easily be tested in currently feasible experiments using four particle entanglement
Keywords ontology  quantum correlations  Bell inequality  entanglement
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10701-006-9073-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,179
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Problem of Hidden Variables in Quantum Mechanics.Simon Kochen & E. P. Specker - 1967 - Journal of Mathematics and Mechanics 17:59--87.
What is Quantum Mechanics Trying to Tell Us?David Mermin - 1998 - American Journal of Physics 66 (9):753-767.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A New Look at Relational Holism in Quantum Mechanics.Matteo Morganti - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):1027--1038.
Delayed-Choice Experiments and the Metaphysics of Entanglement.Matthias Egg - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (9):1124-1135.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
114 ( #74,139 of 2,285,434 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #79,784 of 2,285,434 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature