hi all in another recent thread there was an epic battle between a local realist & a qm formalist. good theatre. but a stalemate in the end. I would like to post just a few key recent refs I was reminded of by that thread, which might be useful for anyone interested in the area. from your pt of view, either the LHV position is increasingly untenable for anyone other than fanatics. or, another idea-- there is only a very narrow slice of LHV theories remaining that have not been ruled out so far, which have to have a higher degree of sophistication than some of the "toy models" considered by bell. more discussion on the "qm2" mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qm2/ a. phd & nobel prize winner t'hooft is working on LHVs somewhat recently which can be found in this paper. the idea is to use a set of simple harmonic oscillators as the hidden systems. this would tend to refute the idea that there is no point in working on LHVs, that the whole matter is closed, that there is no possibility, etc. some other researchers are already building on it How Does God Play Dice? (Pre-)Determinism at the Planck Scale http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0104219 b. I think bell came up with a wonderful analysis of this problem but in my opinion his form of the LHV is too strict. (or equivalently, you can see it as ruling out all but a very restricted class of LHVs, which have not been explored too much). lets look at the probability distribution of the single hidden variable as we rotate analyzers in the bell experiment. bells proof assumes this distribution does not change as their difference angle changes. reasonable for a toy LHV model. however there do exist LHV models such that the lambda probability distribution can change as the analyzers change. the details are subtle but mostly unexplored. therefore it makes a lot of sense to look at LHV theories that are maximally compatible with the predictions of QM. c. a very neat experiment purports to do a "efficient detection" of a bell experiment for the 1st time. published in nature. "experimental violation of a bells inequality with efficient detection" by rowe et al, 2001. link to the paper & my analysis of this here. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qm2/message/9730 basically I agree its a beautiful tour-de-force qm experiment which measures what it purports to measure, but from the pt of view of bell rigor, the experiment is very much lacking in rigor. the authors trapped two ions in an atom trap. but the bell experiment consisted of a single laser and single detector for BOTH ARMs of the experiment, which are traditionally at least spatially separated!! d. it seems to me the ultimate hidden variable in QM is simply "phi", the phase angle in the wavefn. it appears EVERYWHERE in qm derivations yet the theory denies that it can be measured. suppose there were some new theory that proposed that phi could somehow be measured via some clever advancements (theoretical/experimental). phi is clearly a hidden variable in QM--therefore "HVs" cannot be so controversial. the major problem is figuring out how to make a theory in which you have "locality", LHV.