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The quantum world is not built up from correlations

Seevinck, Michael (2006) The quantum world is not built up from correlations. UNSPECIFIED.


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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 J.S. 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 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.

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Item Type: Other
Seevinck, Michael
Additional Information: Published in Foundations of Physics, Vol. 36, 1573-1586 (2006).
Keywords: ontology, quantum correlations, Bell inequality, entanglement, ontological robustness,
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Dr. Michael Patrick Seevinck
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3710
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: October 2006

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