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Any experiment to falsify quantum mechanics?

  1. Dec 16, 2012 #1
    It seems almost everyone agrees Q.M. is right nowadays. I wonder whether there are still people doing experiments/ observations that aim to falsify quantum mechanics.

    How can one design such an experiment?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2012 #2
  4. Dec 17, 2012 #3


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    Mostly people are looking at various Bell Inequalities to see if QM really holds water. So far, no problems have been found. The only serious known limitations of QM are to do with Plank Scale and disagreements with General Relativity. Neither can be probed experimentally with existing technology and techniques.
  5. Dec 17, 2012 #4


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    There are many experiments designed to falsify QM in principle: electron interference experiments (Möllenstedt et al.), all Bell- and Aspect-like experiments, the 2012 Nobel-prize experiments regarding decoherence, and many more.

    But instead of falsifying QM they confirm QM.

    That's slightly misleading. Disagreement with General Relativity is disagreement with General Relativity, but not necessarily a limitation of quantum theory; it could mean that General Relativity has to be replaced by some theory of quantum gravity, but that quantum theory (quantization rules, etc.) itself is not affected (in the same sense as quantum electrodynamics does by no means affect the basic principles of quantum theory but classical electrodynamics); this would be the case for approaches like string theory, loop quantum gravity, asymptotic safety, ...
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  6. Dec 17, 2012 #5
    Yes, but not yet experimentally possible:
    The Quantum Formalism and the GRW Formalism
  7. Dec 17, 2012 #6


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    That's a hell of a long sentence.

    But entirely fair, yes. I shouldn't say that it's certainly a limitation of QM. Just a potential one. A place where it would be nice to check it experimentally. Alas, no such experiments are possible at this time, so best we can say is that at least one of these two theories will need to be fundamentally modified.
  8. Dec 18, 2012 #7


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    I fully agree ;-)
  9. Dec 18, 2012 #8


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    Maybe this:
    Testing Born's Rule in Quantum Mechanics with a Triple Slit Experiment

    You have to have statement of the theory that something is not possible under particular conditions. Then you create these particular conditions and try to observe something that shouldn't be observable.

    If you take that into account than Bell tests are not very convenient as QM tests as suggested in this thread. That's because they aim at observing something that shouldn't be observable if LHV (local hidden variable) type theories are possible i.e. they aim at falsifying LHV not QM.
  10. Dec 22, 2012 #9


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    Here is an experiment I've proposed that could "disprove" some interpretations of QM:

    In a typical EPR/CHSH experiment, in front of each detector place synchronized rapidly rotating opaque disks with a "wedge" slit such that the path from the emitter to the detectors is obscured for a significant portion of photon flight.

    Although the coincident detection rate should go down in proportion to the size of the wedge slit, the CHSH result should not diminish except if the wedge slit is close to the wavelength of the light. If, however, the CHSH result does decrease, certain interpretations of QT come into question.

    Why? I posted yesterday a paper in which I show a deterministic Einstein-local model of quantum spin interactions capable of achieving in CHSH experiments correlations consistent with QT with only speed-of-light interactions. The proposed experiment would confirm or rule out the type of interactions on which the deterministic model depends:

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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