Bell inequality and common causal explanation in algebraic quantum field theory

Publication Year:
2012
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9101
Author(s):
Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Péter Vecsernyés
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conference paper description
Bell inequalities, understood as constraints between classical conditional probabilities, can be derived from a set of assumptions representing a common causal explanation of classical correlations. A similar derivation, however, is not known for Bell inequalities in algebraic quantum field theories establishing constraints for the expectation of specific linear combinations of projections in a quantum state. In the paper we address the question as to whether a 'common causal justification' of these non-classical Bell inequalities is possible. We will show that although the classical notion of common causal explanation can readily be generalized for the non-classical case, the Bell inequalities used in quantum theories cannot be derived from these non-classical common causes. Just the opposite is true: for a set of correlations there can be given a non-classical common causal explanation even if they violate the Bell inequalities. This shows that the range of common causal explanations in the non-classical case is wider than that restricted by the Bell inequalities.

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