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Proceedings Paper

On reconciling quantum mechanics and local realism
Author(s): Donald A. Graft
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Paper Abstract

Accepting nonlocal quantum correlations requires us to reject special relativity and/or probability theory. We can retain both by revising our interpretation of quantum mechanics regarding the handling of separated systems, as quantum mechanics conflicts with local realism only in its treatment of separated systems. We cannot use the joint probability formula for cases of separated measurements. We use the marginals (partial traces) together with whatever priors we have from an understanding of the system. This program can reconcile quantum mechanics with local realism. An apparent obstacle to this program is the experimental evidence, but we argue that the experiments have been misinterpreted, and that when correctly interpreted they confirm local realism. We describe a local realistic account of one important Einstein-Poldosky-Rosen-Bohm (EPRB) experiment (Weihs et al6) that claims to demonstrate nonlocal entanglement. We present a local realistic system (experiment) that can be calibrated into both quantum and classical correlation domains via adjustment of parameters (‘hidden variables’) of the apparatus. Weihs incorrectly dismisses these parameters as uncritical. Nonlocal entanglement is seen to be an error. The rest of quantum mechanics remains intact, and remains highly valued as a powerful probability calculus for observables. Freed from the incoherent idea of nonlocal entanglement, we can leverage powerful classical ideas, such as semiclassical radiation theory, stochastic dynamics, classical noncommutativity/contextuality, measurement effects on state, etc., to augment or complement quantum mechanics. When properly interpreted and applied, quantum mechanics lives in peaceful harmony with the local realist conception, and both perspectives offer useful paradigms for describing systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2013
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8832, The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V, 88321F (1 October 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2020743
Show Author Affiliations
Donald A. Graft, Retired (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8832:
The Nature of Light: What are Photons? V
Chandrasekhar Roychoudhuri; Al F. Kracklauer; Hans De Raedt, Editor(s)

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