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What is 'Hidden Variable theory?

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- Thread starter kiru
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What is 'Hidden Variable theory?

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LURCH

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Obviously, any model that involves faster-than-light travel of particles or information has a tremendous burden of proof wieghing against it, and Hidden Variables is not the most widely-accepted interpretation of QM.

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NateTG

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Generally, hidden variable interpretations are divided into local hidden variable interpretations where these unknown quantities are tied to a particular particle, and globabl hidden variable interpretations where the state is universal. Local hidden variable interpretations have been largely falsified by the combination of Bell's Theorem, and a series of experiements, the most famous of which is Aspect et al. The most well-known global hidden variable interpretatation is apparently Bohmian mechanics.

There are a number of good resources on the net for this topic.

N.B. Lurch's post is confusing:

This is poorly phrased, it would probably be better to say something like:It is the idea that the behavior of quantum particles is actually determined by even smaller particles (or something) that we've not yet detected. Probably the most popular example is quantum entanglement.

Hidden variables are one of several interpretations used to explain quantum phenoma such as the behavior of entangled particles.

This is a common misconception or, at best very misleading. It is only true for an unusual notion of effect. (If you pull a shoe out of a shoe box, does noticing it is the right show cause the other shoe in the box to be the left one?)Yet, altering the state of one of the pair can have an effect on the other.

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Welcome to physicsforums kiru!

I'd like to recommend this paper to you:

http://chaos.swarthmore.edu/courses/phys6_2004/QM_PDF/AJP68_2000c.pdf

"The mystery of the quantum cakes", P.G. Kwiat, L. Hardy, American Journal of physics, Volume 68, No. 1, January 2000.

In my understanding the Hidden Variable theory says, that the outcome of a measurement is not determined by the quantum mechanical state of a system but by a local hidden variable.

Basically the question is whether the only way to describe a system (for example a particle) is the wavefunction [tex] \Psi [/tex] with it's superpositions or does the system have a definite value [tex] \lambda [/tex]?

What does this mean exactly?

In the first case with the wavefunction a certain value is not determined until the measurement. But in the latter the value exists before the measurement.

I'd like to recommend this paper to you:

http://chaos.swarthmore.edu/courses/phys6_2004/QM_PDF/AJP68_2000c.pdf

"The mystery of the quantum cakes", P.G. Kwiat, L. Hardy, American Journal of physics, Volume 68, No. 1, January 2000.

In my understanding the Hidden Variable theory says, that the outcome of a measurement is not determined by the quantum mechanical state of a system but by a local hidden variable.

Basically the question is whether the only way to describe a system (for example a particle) is the wavefunction [tex] \Psi [/tex] with it's superpositions or does the system have a definite value [tex] \lambda [/tex]?

What does this mean exactly?

In the first case with the wavefunction a certain value is not determined until the measurement. But in the latter the value exists before the measurement.

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