# Hidden Assumptions in Bell's Theorem?

• A
• Jarvis323
In summary: Bell's theorem.In summary, there have been a lot of discussions on Bell's theorem here lately. Superdeterminism as a Bell's theorem loophole has been discussed extensively. But I have not seen discussion about Karl Hess, Hans De Raedt, and Kristel Michielsen's ideas, which essentially suggest that there are several hidden assumptions in Bell's theorem, such as no time dependence, and that the mathematical abstractions follow the algebra of real numbers. I am not sure how to interpret these ideas. First, are the primary claims about the hidden assumptions correct as stated and are the claimed implications valid? Secondly, how confident should we be that e.g., "the mathematical abstractions follow the
Fra said:
I try to avoid mincing words, on the contrary do I try to understand the meaning behind. But your editing above still makes we wonder. Am I right to think that you by "FTL correlation" means "spacelike correlation"?
Yes, that is what this means.

Fra said:
Using the FTL word seems to imply a communication, why else use the term.
Certainly not. There is no current explanation on how that phenomenon happens. There is Bell's theorem that allows you to make hypothesis, but not incompatible ones.

FLT means Faster Then Light. Nothing more, nothing less. When experiments are done to precisely label(measure) all those space-time precise events, we measure that the lower bound for "somewhat classically moving communication" would be 10^4 time faster than light. That's not an interpretation issue. I see no reason to quibble with those 3 letters.

Fra said:
The only communication I see going on here is the between the observer Victor to the Observer that compares observations from Alice, and Bob (1&4)
Light will not cut it. And Nature does not wait for Victor to key in, nor some conscience to collapse "state of knowledge". I am more worried of people adopting weird contradictory view, and start questioning basic vocabulary, because observation are spooky=>fail to match some preconceived notions.

Fra said:
and the KEY info from Victor that is required to define the postselected ensemble.
Spooky isn't it ? The EM field of Victor will allow him to measure and create an exact sequence of number, about EM field events that can be in his past, his future, or neither, and that originated from two totally unrelated sources (hint Victor do not observes Socks)

Fra said:
This is supposedly a classical message. Without receiving this key, no observer can infer any entanglement.
Without receiving this KEY, Alice and Bob can absolutely not, in theory or practice, even acknowledge that there is MORE to be said, about the full ensemble.
You may believe that the arrival of Victor message rewrite history, but I don't. The correlation has(will)happens, the full ensemble changed to "keyed", and all this happened without Einstein causation.

Fra said:
For me Einstein locality just means there are no FTL causations between remote systems?
That is plain wrong as Victor's message arriving at Alice and Bod will demonstrate.
There are events that happens "in sync" at space-like places, and the cause is entanglement, which is obviously FLT.

Fra said:
But where correlations have a previous common cause, they are not a violation of Einstein locality.
One could believe that, especially if not grasping the signification of Bell's theorem. But now that
swapping experiments are a thing, beliefs that spookiness is due to the common cause, which is the preparation procedure, is no more a possible loophole. Nor is the hand waving about un-realistic realization based on state probabilistic-distribution.

Fra said:
While a Bell style HV might have been one way to solve Einsteins original issue. Give his record of doing away with the realism of space and time, not once but twice, had he lived on and digested bells theorem, my bet is that he would have done away with realism of HV as well. Doing away with realism is possibly "spooky".
Possibly ? It does not even mean anything. Do we have to discuss what realism means now ? Again ?

Victor(doing swapping) is not part of the preparation of 1&4. No interpretation insisting on preparation to fully explaining non-local phenomenon (even probabilistic) have been shown incomplete.

BTW Victor does not have "remote chances" to get it right. He only have classic error bars, and 100% certitude.

DrChinese
vanhees71 said:
After projecting (2&3) to the polarization-singlet state also (1&4) are in this state.
After what ?

vanhees71 said:
That's due to the interaction of photons (2&3) with the beam splitter and the detectors.
So the experiment happens because it happens ? Nice.

vanhees71 said:
This is, of course, in principle described by QED since QED of course also applies to interactions of the em. field with matter.
No it does not. You cannot compute anything, because you can't even pick an equation.

vanhees71 said:
There's no need to do any calculations to know that there's no instantaneous interaction between the photons (2&3) and the equipment used to project them to the said polarization-singlet state with photons 1&4 and the equipment used to measure their polarization at their far-distant places.
Well I suppose this is your coherent view on how to project "natural science" in the state "Do not compute anything", and "be loud about it", instead on the only known minimal one.

vanhees71 said:
That's implemented in QED via the microcausality condition. If the registration events of photons (2&3) and 1 and 4 are space-like separated there cannot be causal influences between these measurements.
But, mind you, those events will be correlated, and not trough hand-waving, but trough two space-like fluctuation of the EM field. So the micro-causality condition is quite enough to show that QED is incomplete.

vanhees71 said:
Of course, as soon as for a given photon pair (2&3) the observer at the place knows that also (1&4) are entangled in the polarization-singlet state.
Wrong again. Your philosophy is only concerned about ensemble. You are contradicting yourself.

vanhees71 said:
Of course is an update of knowledge part of the minimal interpretation of QT, which I'm follow as an interpretation. That's not philosophy that's physics!
No, that's philosophy. Philosophy can be good, if you could stick to a coherent one. Collapse of knowledge do not happens in the lab, but in one's head. That's not physics.

vanhees71 said:
Correlation but no interaction/causation! So indeed, finally you agree with what I say for years!
No you don't. You've denied n'th time on this thread alone that entanglement is a-causal. And thus microcausilty cannot explains it.

vanhees71 said:
If there's no FTL (faster-than-light) signalling, then space-like separated detection events cannot cause each other. That's a tautology.
No, that's not what tautology means. You were looking for "circular reasoning". But that's irrelevant as only you is pushing that new incoherent idea.

Others simply use acausal, because... it is.

Last edited:
DrChinese
Simple question said:
Yes, that is what this means.
Ok, as I thought. I am fine with that you use the FTL word, although it easily cause confusion. But now I know, so we can drop that part of hte discussion, it's not hte important part anyway.

Simple question said:
And Nature does not wait for Victor to key in, nor some conscience to collapse "state of knowledge".
But do you really envision that it's "Nature" that infers this correlation? How??

I think one needs to be careful what is beeing done. "Nature" around Alice and Bob, who couldn't care less about Victor or his messages, just sees the output from the full ensemble.

The information processing here must be considered to understand this, otherwise there is no correlations.
Creating this "effective ensemble" using Victors key, is not a natural process, so what does this have todo with "nature"? It is a choice of processing by an observer, that by using a KEY can "extract" correlations. And this process WILL WAIT for Victor to key in! You can't possibly perform this experiment, and prove otherwise it Victors does not key in. One can't ignore the details of the inference here. (That said, yes Alice, Bob and Victor are part of "nature" too, but I do not think that is what you meant)

/Fredrik

gentzen
Simple question said:
After what ?
After victors key(from 2&3 measurments) is received and used to process/select from the data stream. I find this crystal clear.

This is why it does not matter if the key (2&3) is generate before or after 1&4 as per sombodys clock. The information is the same.

/Fredrik

gentzen
Fra said:
The information processing here must be considered to understand this, otherwise there is no correlations.
Creating this "effective ensemble" using Victors key, is not a natural process, so what does this have todo with "nature"? It is a choice of processing by an observer, that by using a KEY can "extract" correlations. And this process WILL WAIT for Victor to key in! You can't possibly perform this experiment, and prove otherwise it Victors does not key in. One can't ignore the details of the inference here. (That said, yes Alice, Bob and Victor are part of "nature" too, but I do not think that is what you meant)

I get so confused by your (and others') perspective about information processing, classical signal keys. Basically, we have a nonlocal action - the swap. In 100% of the cases where Victor observes indistinguishability in the [2] and [3] photons, the swap occurs. If and only if the swap occurs, do the distant and previously unentangled [1] and [4] photons (observed by Alice and Bob) become entangled. That is what most people refer to as causality.

Now I say the swap occurs nonlocally (outside a light cone), but cannot transmit a signal because the particular Bell State that occurs (out of 4 possible) is not known. You don't know if the Alice/Bob results will be correlated or anti-correlated (which is a function of the particular Bell State). But you are wrong that you need the signal from Victor to know which [1] and [4] photons are entangled. All they really need to do is arrive within a time synchronized time window (obviously adjusted for path length from the sources). If they arrive within that window, the [2] and [3] photons will have been indistinguishable and a swap occurs. If Alice and Bob are co-located, they know this immediately (ignoring experimental inefficiencies). They just don't know what kind of swap (i.e. which of the 4 Bell States describe the swap).

So when you say that Victor needs to send a classical signal to say what the Bell State of a swap was, we are just acknowledging something we all agree on: the swap cannot be used to send an FTL signal. In the terminology of @vanhees71, if there is no FTL signaling then there can be no FTL forward in time "causality" demonstrated. Because all classical causality predicted by QFT is local. Again, we all agree on this. So he is correct in a strange but irrelevant way. Because a remote swap is not evidence of a deterministically causal action. If a criminal hits me on the head with a hammer, then it would surely kill me. You can't do something classical like that remotely, right?

But who's questioning that point? The entire purpose of this discussion has been to demonstrate that an entirely different type of "hammer" is being used, a quantum hammer if you will humor me the analogy. When the criminal hits me on the head with this quantum hammer, we can't be sure if I will be injured or the quantum hammer will break (leaving me alive and uninjured).
• In the classical world (hitting me with a classical hammer): I will certainly die - and the criminal must be next to me - i.e. local - to cause my death.
• In the quantum world (hitting me with a quantum hammer): Sometimes I die and sometimes I don't - but the criminal can be anywhere - i.e. non-local - to cause one of the possible predicted outcomes.
QFT predicts both of these cases.

So the argument "The information processing here must be considered to understand this" is in fact circular reasoning. We are demonstrating that the swap "quantum causes" the [1] and [4] photons to become entangled to each other, when they were previously were not (as proved by MoE, previously cited). And we see experimentally that distance is not a factor, which again everyone agrees upon.

But you are essentially saying: There can be no "nonlocal quantum causality" because such causality cannot be used to send a signal. No test of "nonlocal quantum causality" could ever be demonstrated with your requirement! That's circular, you have included a requirement that we all agree cannot be met!! But your requirement does not in any manner rule out the situation I am describing. Alice/Bob aren't expecting to know which outcome will occur (i.e. which observed polarizations will be correlated or anti-correlated). To meet your requirement: FTL signaling is required and if that were possible, swapping could be used for... FTL signaling. Circular.

Remote entanglement swapping is a tool different than a signaling tool. Real quantum networks can entangle previously unentangled particles at speeds exceeding the speed of light, regardless of reference frame.

Last edited:
DrChinese said:
If and only if the swap occurs, do the distant and previously unentangled [1] and [4] photons (observed by Alice and Bob) become entangled. That is what most people refer to as causality.
You're wrong about this. There exist entangled subensembles even if no BSM is performed. So you can never know whether the BSM was responsible for producing the entanglement in those subensembles that are post-selected after the BSM or whether these subensembles would have been there anyway and due to the lack of a BSM result we just have to no interesting way to post-select them. This leaves open the possibility for a knowledge-based interpretation without action at a distance, such as Zeilinger is endorsing. If you are in conflict with a Nobel laureate, who moreover is an expert in this field, you should sooner or later begin to question your own premises.

Dragrath and DrClaude
Nullstein said:
There exist entangled subensembles even if no BSM is performed.
How would you pick out such subensembles?

If your answer is that you would look at the results of the 1 & 4 measurements and pick out runs on that basis, my response was given in a previous post of mine: that's cherry-picking your statistics. In other words, it's not a valid method of picking a subensemble. The whole point in the entanglement swapping experiments is that the subensemble is picked out without any knowledge whatever of the 1 & 4 measurement results; only the 2 & 3 BSM result is looked at.

Nullstein said:
you can never know whether the BSM was responsible for producing the entanglement in those subensembles that are post-selected after the BSM or whether these subensembles would have been there anyway
Yes, you can test whether they would have been there anyway: just do the initial preparation (in which 1 & 2 are maximally entangled and 3 & 4 are maximally entangled), don't do any BSM measurement on 2 & 3, and then measure the spins of 1 & 4 and look at the correlations.

Your own math, which you have posted multiple times, predicts what the result will be: no correlation between 1 & 4. I.e., no entanglement between 1 & 4.

Nullstein said:
This leaves open the possibility for a knowledge-based interpretation without action at a distance, such as Zeilinger is endorsing.
Yes, I agree Zeilinger is using a knowledge interpretation. Which of course is different from the interpretation @DrChinese is using. So it's to be expected that their interpretations of these experiments will be different.

DrChinese
PeterDonis said:
How would you pick out such subensembles?

If your answer is that you would look at the results of the 1 & 4 measurements and pick out runs on that basis, my response was given in a previous post of mine: that's cherry-picking your statistics. In other words, it's not a valid method of picking a subensemble. The whole point in the entanglement swapping experiments is that the subensemble is picked out without any knowledge whatever of the 1 & 4 measurement results; only the 2 & 3 BSM result is looked at.
There is no way to pick them out without cherry picking, but nevertheless, they are there. This is all that's needed for a knowledge-based interpretation, such as Zeilinger is endorsing, to be viable. Nature need not give use a way to access all information.
PeterDonis said:
Yes, you can test whether they would have been there anyway: just do the initial preparation (in which 1 & 2 are maximally entangled and 3 & 4 are maximally entangled), don't do any BSM measurement on 2 & 3, and then measure the spins of 1 & 4 and look at the correlations.

Your own math, which you have posted multiple times, predicts what the result will be: no correlation between 1 & 4. I.e., no entanglement between 1 & 4.
There is also no entanglement between 1&4 if you perform a BSM and forget about the results. This is the analog situation. What you are doing is trying to compare the full ensemble to a subensemble, which is not appropriate.

What is true is the following: Whether or not we do a BSM: In both cases, there is no entanglement between 1&4 in the full ensemble and there is entanglement between 1&4 in a subensemble. So experimentally, there is no difference and hence no way to distinguish it.

For you, the same advice holds: If you are in contradiction with a Nobel laureate, who is an expert in this field, then you should consider the possibility that the misunderstanding might be on your side and you should consider whether you might need to spend some time trying to understand the argument more carefully.

PeterDonis said:
Yes, I agree Zeilinger is using a knowledge interpretation. Which of course is different from the interpretation @DrChinese is using. So it's to be expected that their interpretations of these experiments will be different.
How is this an interpretation issue? According to your last post, my understanding is that you believe that it can be experimentally distinguished.

Nullstein said:
There is no way to pick them out without cherry picking, but nevertheless, they are there.
In other words, you think cherry picking is perfectly ok. Sorry, but I disagree. I doubt we're going to resolve that issue.

Nullstein said:
There is also no entanglement between 1&4 if you perform a BSM and forget about the results.
No, there is no way for you to demonstrate entanglement if you forget about the results. That doesn't mean entanglement isn't there; indeed, by forgetting the results you have given up the ability to test whether it is there or not, which means you cannot justify a claim either way--you can't say there is, and you can't say there isn't.

Which of course is a stupid way to do an experiment.

Nullstein said:
What is true is the following
You simply cannot assert this as fact. You can say it's what your preferred interpretation says, but that's all. Please review the ground rules for this subforum (which are in a sticky thread at the top of the subforum). As I have already explicitly pointed out in this thread, interpretation discussions are not resolvable.

Nullstein said:
If you are in contradiction with a Nobel laureate, who is an expert in this field, then you should consider the possibility that the misunderstanding might be on your side
Sorry, but arguments from authority carry no weight here. I have read plenty of Zeilinger, I have a decent understanding of where he is coming from, and what he says makes sense given the interpretation he is using. But that doesn't change the fact that there are multiple interpretations of QM and they say mutually inconsistent things, and such disagreements are not resolvable at our current state of theoretical knowledge.

Dragrath and DrChinese
Nullstein said:
How is this an interpretation issue?
Um, because Zeilinger, by his own admission, is using a knowledge interpretation, and @DrChinese is not?

Nullstein said:
According to your last post, my understanding is that you believe that it can be experimentally distinguished.
I believe that we can do what I described in post #323 in order to experimentally investigate the question of whether there is any entanglement between 1 & 4 if no BSM is done, yes. To me that seems like the obvious way to do so.

But of course I disagree with you about things like whether cherry picking is a valid way to pick out a subensemble. So I am not at all surprised if you don't share my belief. That just means we have another interpretational disagreement that is not resolvable: what seems to me like an obvious experimental way to investigate something, seems to you to have no bearing whatever on that thing.

PeterDonis said:
In other words, you think cherry picking is perfectly ok. Sorry, but I disagree. I doubt we're going to resolve that issue.
It depends on what I want to do by cherry picking. If all I want to do is to demonstrate the existence of an entangled subensemble, then yes, by cherry picking, I can do that. If I'm interested in applications, e.g. I want to build a quantum computer and make use of the existing entangled subensemble, then no, cherry picking doesn't help me at all.
PeterDonis said:
No, there is no way for you to demonstrate entanglement if you forget about the results. That doesn't mean entanglement isn't there; indeed, by forgetting the results you have given up the ability to test whether it is there or not, which means you cannot justify a claim either way--you can't say there is, and you can't say there isn't.

Which of course is a stupid way to do an experiment.
The point here is to compute interpretation-independent predictions of quantum mechanics and to compare them to the data from the experiment.

In the BSM case, QM predicts that there is no entanglement between 1&4 in the full ensemble and that there is an entangled subensemble. Moreover, this subensemble can be post-selected based on the result of the BSM.
In the no-BSM case, QM predicts that there is no entanglement between 1&4 in the full ensemble and that there is an entangled subensemble. But this entangled subensemble cannot be post-selected based on the result of a BSM, because there wasn't a BSM to begin with. It is there nevertheless in the sense that it can be found in the data.

These predictions are interpretation independent and can be tested.

Now we have to interpret this. One interpretation is that the entanglement in the subensemble came about by a spooky action due to the BSM. Another viable interpretation is that the subensemble was there from the beginning and we just didn't collect the information necessary to extract it without cherry picking. The second interpretation is the knowledge-based one and it is perfectly viable.
PeterDonis said:
You simply cannot assert this as fact. You can say it's what your preferred interpretation says, but that's all. Please review the ground rules for this subforum (which are in a sticky thread at the top of the subforum). As I have already explicitly pointed out in this thread, interpretation discussions are not resolvable.
This fact follows from the axioms of QM, it is a theorem, so it is not interpretation dependent. I have provided the proof and references. If this were interpretation dependent, then I would agree that it cannot be resolved. However, the question, whether it is interpretation dependent in the first place, can be resolved. If you believe that anything in my math is interpretation dependent, then you should be able to point at one particular equality sign and say: "Look, here, this one is hinges on interpretation XYZ and doesn't follow from the axioms of QM."
PeterDonis said:
Sorry, but arguments from authority carry no weight here.
I agree that it should carry no weight, but on the other hand, you regularly require citations for quite basic results and now you don't accept Zeilinger as a reference.
PeterDonis said:
I have read plenty of Zeilinger, I have a decent understanding of where he is coming from, and what he says makes sense given the interpretation he is using. But that doesn't change the fact that there are multiple interpretations of QM and they say mutually inconsistent things, and such disagreements are not resolvable at our current state of theoretical knowledge.
I agree that there are multiple interpretations that say mutually inconsistent things. But every interpretation needs to agree on the experimental predictions. I'm purposefully only making reference to experimentally testable predictions and their derivation here, in order not to get into the trouble of unresolvable questions.

PeterDonis said:
Um, because Zeilinger, by his own admission, is using a knowledge interpretation, and @DrChinese is not?
Yeah, but at least I am very careful only to talk about the experimentally testable predictions that follow from the axioms of QM, so there should not be any interpretational issues arising. Everyone may use their favorite interpretation, but everyone also needs to agree on the testable predictions.
PeterDonis said:
I believe that we can do what I described in post #323 in order to experimentally investigate the question of whether there is any entanglement between 1 & 4 if no BSM is done, yes. To me that seems like the obvious way to do so.
Well and I believe that what you describe in #323 does not work, because you are comparing the results of a subensemble (in the BSM case) with the results from the full ensemble (in the no-BSM case). What is necessary to resolve this, however, is to compare the results of the full ensemble in the BSM case with the results of the full ensemble in the non-BSM case and the results of the subensemble in the BSM case with the results of the subensemble in the non-BSM case.
PeterDonis said:
But of course I disagree with you about things like whether cherry picking is a valid way to pick out a subensemble. So I am not at all surprised if you don't share my belief. That just means we have another interpretational disagreement that is not resolvable: what seems to me like an obvious experimental way to investigate something, seems to you to have no bearing whatever on that thing.
The reason I disagree with you about your experimental setup is not that we disagree about cherry picking (which we do, I don't deny this), but because I disagree that comparing the results of the full ensemble in one case to the results of a subensemble in the other case, is an appropriate way to test this.

weirdoguy and lodbrok
Nullstein said:
you regularly require citations for quite basic results and now you don't accept Zeilinger as a reference
I didn't say the Zeilinger reference was an invalid reference. I said he's using a particular interpretation, so you can't state his position as fact; it's dependent on the interpretation he adopts.

Nullstein said:
In the no-BSM case, QM predicts that there is no entanglement between 1&4 in the full ensemble
Yes.

Nullstein said:
and that there is an entangled subensemble.
No, QM does not predict this. Cherry picking "predicts" this, but I don't agree that's a valid method.

Nullstein said:
This fact follows from the axioms of QM
We've already been over this multiple times. The math is one thing. Claims about what the math means and what math is relevant is another.

Thread closed for moderation.

Lord Jestocost and jim mcnamara
The thread will remain closed

Lord Jestocost

• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
874
Views
31K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
2
Views
930
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
9
Views
2K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
1
Views
998
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
37
Views
2K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
19
Views
1K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
37
Views
2K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
226
Views
18K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
80
Views
4K