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On the Empirical Foundations of the Quantum No-Signalling Proofs

J. B. Kennedy
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 62, No. 4 (Dec., 1995), pp. 543-560
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188551
Page Count: 18
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On the Empirical Foundations of the Quantum No-Signalling Proofs
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Abstract

I analyze a number of the quantum no-signalling proofs (Ghirardi et al. 1980, Bussey 1982, Jordan 1983, Shimony 1985, Redhead 1987, Eberhard and Ross 1989, Sherer and Busch 1993). These purport to show that the EPR correlations cannot be exploited for transmitting signals, i.e., are not causal. First, I show that these proofs can be mathematically unified; they are disguised versions of a single theorem. Second, I argue that these proofs are circular. The essential theorem relies upon the tensor product representation for combined systems, which has no physical basis in the von Neumann axioms. Historically, the construction of this representation scheme by von Neumann and Weyl built no-signalling assumptions into the quantum theory. Signalling between the wings of the EPR-Bell experiments is unlikely but is not ruled out empirically by the class of proofs considered.

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