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Quantum theory is incompatible with relativity: A new proof beyond Bell's theorem and a test of unitary quantum theories

Gao, Shan (2019) Quantum theory is incompatible with relativity: A new proof beyond Bell's theorem and a test of unitary quantum theories. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It has been debated whether quantum mechanics and special relativity are incompatible and whether there is a preferred Lorentz frame if they are incompatible. Bell's theorem is an important cornerstone, but it does not give us a definite positive answer due to the existence of supplementary assumptions or theoretical loopholes; there are unitary quantum theories which evade Bell's theorem and claim that they are compatible with special relativity.

In this paper, I address the important issue of whether unitary quantum theories are compatible with special relativity. I propose a new Gedankenexperiment, a variant of the EPR-Bohm experiment with a superobserver who can undo a measurement. In this experiment, there is a stronger correlation (between the results of two spacelike separated measurements) than the correlation investigated in Bell's theorem. Based on an analysis of the correlations in different Lorentz frames, I prove that unitary single-world theories are incompatible with special relativity, and in order to avoid the incompatibility, there must exist a preferred Lorentz frame in these theories. Moreover, I argue that the incompatibility proof also applies to a proper version of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. This closes the major theoretical loopholes of Bell's theorem, including relationalism, retrocausality, and superdeterminism.

Finally, I argue that the stronger correlation found in the Gedankenexperiment cannot be explained by retrocausal processes or even the common causes in the past, but only be explained by nonlocal processes or actions at a distance. This provides a test of unitary quantum theories, as well as a further support for the new incompatibility proof beyond Bell's theorem.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Gao, Shansgao7319@uni.sydney.edu.au
Keywords: quantum mechanics; special relativity;Bell's theorem;incompatibility; preferred Lorentz frame; many worlds; relationalism; retrocausality; superdeterminism; actions at a distance
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Prof. Shan Gao
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2019 20:08
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 20:08
Item ID: 16155
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 27 June 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16155

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