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Bell’s theorem and the issue of determinism and indeterminism

Esfeld, Michael (2015) Bell’s theorem and the issue of determinism and indeterminism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The paper considers the claim that quantum theories with a deterministic dynamics of objects in ordinary space-time, such as Bohmian mechanics, contradict the assumption that the measurement settings can be freely chosen in the EPR experiment. That assumption is one of the premises of Bell’s theorem. I first argue that only a premise to the effect that what determines the choice of the measurement settings is independent of what determines the past state of the measured system is needed for the derivation of Bell’s theorem. Determinism as such does not undermine that independence (unless there are particular initial conditions of the universe that would amount to conspiracy). Only entanglement could do so. However, generic entanglement without collapse on the level of the universal wave-function can go together with effective wave-functions for subsystems of the universe, as in Bohmian mechanics. The paper argues that such effective wave-functions are sufficient for the mentioned independence premise to hold.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Esfeld, MichaelMichael-Andreas.Esfeld@unil.ch
Keywords: Bell’s theorem; determinism; indeterminism; locality; free choice of measurement settings; Bohmian mechanics; GRW theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2015 15:43
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2015 15:43
Item ID: 11353
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 2 March 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11353

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