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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: August 2010

1 - Non-locality beyond quantum mechanics

from Part I - Quantum entanglement and non-locality

For Abner Shimony. Your influence on me goes well beyond physics. Knowing you and being close to you is one of the greatest privileges and pleasures in my life.


Quantum mechanics is, without any doubt, a tremendously successful theory: it started by explaining black-body radiation and the photoelectric effect, it explained the spectra of atoms, and then went on to explain chemical bonds, the structure of atoms and of the atomic nucleus, the properties of crystals and the elementary particles, and a myriad of other phenomena. Yet it is safe to say that we still lack a deep understanding of quantum mechanics – surprising and even puzzling new effects continue to be discovered with regularity. That we are surprised and puzzled is the best sign that we still don't understand; however, the veil over the mysteries of quantum mechanics is starting to lift a little.

One of the strangest things microscopic particles do is to follow non-local dynamics and to yield non-local correlations. That particles follow non-local equations of motion was discovered by Aharonov and Bohm, while non-local correlations – which are the subject of this chapter – were discovered by John Bell and first cast in a form that has physical meaning, i.e., that can be experimentally tested, by Clauser, Horne, Shimony, and Holt. When they were discovered, both phenomena seemed to be quite exotic and at the fringe of quantum mechanics. By now we understand that they are some of the most important aspects of quantummechanical behavior.

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Philosophy of Quantum Information and Entanglement
  • Online ISBN: 9780511676550
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