How Entanglement Could Be Deterministic

Saw this over on the Physics Arxiv blog (a service which hosts Physics preprints – some of which are going to be important, some of which will never be published).

There’s a paper submitted for publishing that represents yet another attempt to deal with the non-localization aspects of quantum theory that cause so much controversy:

“One of the greatest scientific debates in history was fought over the nature of quantum mechanics and the troubling consequences of a theory that is first probabilistic rather than deterministic (God does not play dice) and second, nonlocal meaning it allows the spooky action at a distance of entanglement.

One way of resolving this problem is to assume that quantum mechanics is an incomplete description of reality and that a full, deterministic description can be achieved using some additional hidden variables. One theory, for example, supposes that one hidden variable is a quantum particle’s position.

Another idea is that spooky action at a distance can be explained by hidden variables that determine in advance how entangled particles will behave when measured.

However, hidden variable theories have been largely discounted by quantum theorists because their mathematical structure leads to a prediction about the correlations between entangled particles that has been shown to be wrong in numerous experiments. By this analysis, hidden varibale theories cannot underly quantum mechanics.

But they may be classes of hidden variable theories that are not covered by this argument.

Today, the Nobel-prize winning physicist Gerard ‘t Hooft says he has found one of them: a new class of deterministic models of the universe which allow for entanglement. Curiously, these are based on cellular automaton, a computing device consisting of a grid of cells which can be in various states depending on the states of the adjoining cells.”

Read the full article here.

If you’re interested in such things, then enjoy. You may thank me later…


Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...