Bell's Theorem and Nonlocality

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by CptBork, May 19, 2014.

  1. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    I'm starting this thread in response to user quantum_wave's request that I branch off from discussing it at the following link: We've agreed to have a look at the conditions of Bell's Theorem and its associated experimental tests, in order to determine whether they might rule out some of quantum_wave's proposed ideas regarding cosmology.

    Bell's Theorem mathematically demonstrates that any local hidden variable theory of physics makes testably different predictions from those made by quantum mechanics. Whereas quantum mechanics states that the workings of the universe are purely statistical in nature and that the best we can truly do in predicting the behaviour of a system is to calculate the probabilities of various outcomes, a hidden variable theory of physics is one which attempts to model the universe in a deterministic fashion, in which there is only one possible outcome for any experiment in which the conditions of the experiment are specified. Hidden variable theories bear their name because they postulate that the apparent randomness of nature in experiments is due to certain variables being hidden from measurement, in such a way that they're either impossible for a human observer to measure or beyond our present technological capabilities. Albert Einstein was a famous proponent of the hidden variable view of quantum mechanics, acknowledging that the statistical picture may work in practice, but also that "God does not play dice with the universe", and Einstein was also one of the first to recognize that quantum mechanics implies that some form of instantaneous faster-than-light interaction is possible between particles across the universe with his Einstein-Rosen-Podolski paradox.

    A "local" hidden variable theory is one which not only suggests that hidden deterministic variables/properties are responsible for the apparently randomized behaviour of nature, but also restricts all forms of communication and interaction to propagating no faster than a certain speed, usually the speed of light. In general, local theories are the only hidden variable theories seriously considered by hidden variables proponents, because nonlocal deterministic theories, in which signals can exceed the speed of light, instantly run into problems with time paradoxes forming inside Relativity, a problem which does not occur in the probabilistic approach of quantum mechanics. The value of Bell's Theorem is that it provides us with a way to conclusively demonstrate that nonlocal effects do indeed occur in nature, thus leaving us with only two choices for an explanation: 1) A nonlocal hidden variable theory which generates time paradoxes in Relativity, or 2) quantum mechanics which, in its modern quantum field theory formulation, incorporates Special Relativity as a vital component, or else some other theory based on a probabilistic interpretation of the universe.

    quantum_wave has been promoting his own personal ideas about cosmology for some time, and recently inquired in the Physics & Math forum why there isn't more discussion and speculation there about the unsolved mysteries in theoretical physics as we know it today. As part of my arguments for why his ideas do not merit serious consideration in that sort of setting, as well as why physicists restrict themselves to working with theories largely compatible to and extended from existing knowledge, I propose to demonstrate that quantum_wave's personal cosmological ideas, when analyzed using Bell's Theorem, are in fundamental disagreement with known experiments, whereas quantum mechanics predicts the results of those same experiments accurately to high precision.

    So quantum_wave, how would you like to proceed? Would you like me to give a brief overview and derivation of Bell's Theorem in its basic form, or would you like to start by introducing the postulates for your hidden variable theory?
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  3. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    Going from my thread about preexisting space, the Big Bang, and dark energy where I asked you to break off this thread, requires a little explanation.

    I have a hobby-model which I explain in my threads in Alternative Theories; see The Big Wait, and The Infinite Spongy Universe 2014, for two of the recent threads. Questions I have posed, mostly rhetorically, over the years to the members and the scientific community are questions that there are not yet any real consensus answers to, and they are the motivation for me pulling together a layman science enthusiast hobby-model of the universe while I wait.

    I start with my questions, look around the internet, reference material, and popular science media for ideas about answers that might be in the process of acceptance, and try to be reasonable and responsible about choosing the answer that suits me at each step. It is my personal model, it is intended to hold me until I find that a consensus is being reached that works consistently with other theories, and it isn't intended to satisfy anyone else but me. I do want it to be internally consistent, and I don't want it to be inconsistent with scientific observations and data. And that is what brings us here form one perspective, my hobby-model.

    I continually state that the model is not scientific, I am not doing science, I'm not suggesting that I have any answers that haven't already been considered, and it is just my hobby until the scientific community reaches a consensus on the answers to my questions; what caused the Big Bang, what causes the presence of matter, and what are the mechanics of gravity.

    The recent thread I started in P&M, and that was moved to AltTheories, had a specific topic; a speculation that if the Big Bang was surrounded by preexisting space, there might be a possible explanation for dark energy, and I mentioned the basic layman concept I had in mind for discussion.

    You expressed your concerns about me conducting such a thread in Physics and Math. I think you were eventually somewhat satisfied when I suggested that the thread be reported and be moved to AltTheories. It was promptly moved. You couldn't acknowledge the intent of the thread and participate without references to other discussions and topics where you aren't satisfied with my responses and actions related to my views on hidden variables. You didn't feel comfortable weighing in on speculation about the Big Bang having preconditions that included preexisting space, however, except to say it was possible but I'm not being scientific.

    I already have explained that my hobby-model is built from the bottom up with step by step speculations and hypotheses, and I personally considered each step to be reasonable and responsible in the absence of any consensus in the scientific community. The steps are chosen from the ideas and options I learned about by my years of following cosmology, my personal research, and contemplation. You imply that I may as well call them fantasy. I won't call my hobby-model pure fantasy, but anyone else can equate my methodology to fairy dust if they want, it isn't backed by evidence. I'm not offended.

    As a science enthusiast, waiting for the scientific community to come up with the consistent and compatible answers to my questions is what I call the Big Wait, so a little fiction to pass the time isn't unreasonable. My model isn't going to be science, but it keeps me learning and looking, and passes the time, and it is what keeps me here at SciForums.

    I pointed out that my views about QM are in the category of hidden variables interpretations as a result of those speculations and hypotheses, so to understand my position on QM, you have to know the particulars of my hobby-model that lead to my speculations about QM. I'm sure you don't want to get that deep, and this proof that I'm wrong may satisfy you, but you might not falsify my steps leading up to my hidden variables specifics, and then this might not prove me wrong to my satisfaction, it will just prove you know a lot about generally accepted theory, that I am already aware of.

    I start with the question, what caused the Big Bang. That takes us to the question of preconditions to the Big Bang. The preconditions that I start with, in their most general sense are space, time, and energy.

    Those are the preconditions that I was trying to establish in my latest thread. Not that they were the conditions and environment that existed at the moment of the Big Bang, but that they were a reasonable place for a layman to start a model to answer his own questions while he waits. Those are the preconditions to the Big Bang that you could not get your arms around as initial conditions to the Big Bang without saying I wasn't being scientific in how I approached coming to those preconditions. I say that they were the preconditions to the Big Bang I decided to use in my model, not that I said they were the answer to anyone else.

    Can you keep it in layman terms? If so, that would be good. Could you tell me what hidden variables interpretations were used, if any, and how he came up with them?

    But I do want to say that my hobby model needs to have the preconditions of space, time, and energy as the environment for the Big Bang to occur, in order to get to my hobby conclusions on hidden variables, so we won't be able to get far if you don't acknowledge that I start there, as unscientific as those preconditions might seem to u.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
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  5. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    One of the nice things about Bell's Theorem is that in basic form, it's very easy and simple to derive the predictions made by local hidden variable theories on minimal assumptions, and the math is very simple as well (it gets slightly more complicated when deriving the quantum mechanical prediction, but we don't really need that part of the theorem anyhow).

    The basic assumption Bell's Theorem makes for a local hidden variable theory is that in a pair of entangled particles, certain parameters (i.e. photon polarizations) are decided in advance before they're measured (i.e. at the time of original entanglement), and can only communicate with each other at a finite speed so that, under the right setup, the measurement of one particle shouldn't have any effect on the other until after the other has already been measured as well. This is all Bell's Theorem assumes for local hidden variable theories, and these are basic criteria that any local hidden variable theory automatically fulfills.

    So when I ask you to specify the postulates of your theory, what I specifically have in mind are the postulates related to locality. You've made it pretty clear on numerous occasions that you subscribe to a hidden variables deterministic interpretation of reality and I don't need to know any specifics about those variables, so the question is more about locality, i.e. do you postulate a cosmic speed limit such as the speed of light?
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  7. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    I think that, from the biographies, Einstein didn't have as much to to with that paper as he might have liked. It has some flaws in its definitions. Regardless, it is a central paper in the literature.

    I look forward to seeing where this thread goes.
  8. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    The three conditions, call them premises of my hidden variables hypothesis of quantum mechanics, include those items I mentioned in regard to my thread about speculation on dark energy.

    They include space time and energy pre-existing the big bang event.

    The "locality" of the big bang event was relative to the space time and energy in the locality and surrounding the locality of the Big Bang event.

    That is why, if you can falsify either of them, I will concede that you have falsified my hobby model and my alternative ideas about quantum mechanics.

    Hopefully you cannot. Does it boil down to my defining those terms to your satisfaction, as you told me in my thread?
  9. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Well ultimately to compare your theory (I call it a theory because technically any model of something fits the basic definition) to experiment, we need to know whether certain conditions are implied by your theory under standard lab conditions, rather than worrying about what happened at the Big Bang. Before I begin, I want to remind you that the experiments I'm going to describe may initially seem similar to delayed choice quantum eraser experiments, they actually differ substantially, measure different things and are looking to establish different properties.

    Ultimately it comes down to this: suppose I create a system of two identical photons firing off in opposite directions, entangled in such a way that they're both known (classically and quantum mechanically) to share the same polarization at the moment of their creation. Now suppose I have apparatii at each end of the lab which will measure the polarization of the photons along some axis which is chosen at the last moment just before the measurement is made, with independent choices being made at random for the axis of measurement at each end. Do you agree that, based on your interpretation, if I separate the two measurement apparatii by a sufficient distance so that slower-than-light communication between the photons is impossible in the time between when the axes of measurement are chosen and both measurements are made, there's no way for those photons and the measurements performed on them to affect each other?
  10. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    Three things: 1) May I consider this to be my thread as well as yours, 2) I will answer your questions if you will answer my questions starting with what I asked you in my last response, and 3) I won't continue if you call my model or speculations, or hypotyheses theories. You have insisted on specific scientific meanings to words, and I insist on my layman nomenclature. In my layman nomenclature I am not claiming to have a theory.

    I need you to tell me if you can falsify the preexistence of space time or energy relative to the Big Bang event at the instant of the Big Bang event, and can you falsify the existence of space time and energy as conditions in the locality of the Big Bang? And you can answer using your definitions of those words.

    And to save my time, my answer to your question is a "yes" for purposes of moving along, but before we are done, my view of quantum mechanics has some particulars that put other factors into play.
  11. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    1) Sure
    2) As long as it's relevant to this particular topic, I'm game. It's not a trade where you discuss Bell's Theorem with me in exchange for me discussing unrelated topics with you, it's a check on your hypotheses.
    3) Ok then, I'll call your assumptions hypotheses. The main issue of concern is the demand for locality and determinism.

    I can't falsify the idea that time and some sort of universe may have existed before the Big Bang, nor have I tried, nor would I want to. Plenty of theoreticians deal with issues of a pre-existing universe, such as the higher-dimensional multiverse of M-theory in which our universe is just one (infinite) bubble. I'm equally open to both the idea that time began with the Big Bang, and the idea that there was something existing before it, I just believe that whatever it is that happened has to be consistent with what we measure today and what's described in General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory.

    Well then maybe I can proceed to give a basic proof of Bell's Theorem and its predictions based on your hypotheses, and you can state if any of your caveats change the result.
  12. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    All of the steps, speculations and hypotheses of my hobby-model are interconnected and internally consistent, I think. Though you may have the opinion that we can cut to the chase, I reserve the right to insist that you falsify the steps along the way, because unless you know what the steps are you are ignorant of the particulars of my views of QM.
    I'm not talking about any of those things, I taking about the characteristics of the locality of the Big Bang. My model requires that space, time and energy preceded the Big Bang.
    You can stipulate anything you want, but I have a model that must have preexisting space, time and energy because the explanation of the cause of the Big Bang is a big part of my model, and quantum mechanics are instrumental to what I have hypothesized as the cause of the Big Bang. The model does not work if the Big Bang had no preconditions, i.e. if it came from nothingness.

    Since you seem uncertain about if the preconditions I need to have were there, I want to know if you can accept nothingness, and then the Big Bang happened?
    Yes, proceed, assuming you are responsive to the above.
  13. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    If time didn't exist before the Big Bang, the very sentence "and then the Big Bang happened" has no logical meaning. There are any number of wildly speculative scientific and religious theories about what happened before, during and after the Big Bang, and no means of ruling them out insofar as they make no testable predictions. I know there are situations in General Relativity (such as the maximally extended Schwarzschild black hole), in unrealistically simplified universes in which the observer has no energy and thus zero effect on the spacetime background, where some observers can have an infinite history and others in the same universe experience only a finite amount of time to the very beginning of time itself. You might as well ask why laws of physics are there in the first place and take the form they do, regardless of whether or not time had a consequent beginning, and that's not a scientific question (science only investigates what the laws are).

    Ok, so if you understand that I don't rule out any speculation on whether time has a beginning and what might have come before our universe or lie beyond it, as long as that speculation doesn't contradict any well-established experiments, and you're ok with that, I'll go ahead and give a simple mathematical deduction which shows that your basic hypotheses regarding local determinism, regardless of the inner specifics of how things are determined, makes a certain measurable statistical prediction about measurements of polarized photons.
  14. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I'm sorry, if you can accept something from nothing, we have no basis to come to an agreement. My model does not work with something from nothing. I have no time for someone who can't at least say which of the main explanations of the existence of the universe that they prefer. You have: "Always existed" (my favorite), "Something from nothing" (which you seem willing to accept), and "God did it" (which invokes the Supernatural). Man up and pick one for purposes of this thread.
    My model violates all kinds of well-established theory that is used to explain the results of any number of experiments. On the other hand, if the experiment result can be stated as the observation, and described, then I reserve the right to have a hobby-model explanation for the results of the experiment that may not agree with the well established interpretations of the experiments, no matter what experiments you are invoking.
    I read Dance of the Photons, and figure you see me as Bob and Alice, lol. Proceed, you should get it into the thread for future reference.
  15. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    So you want me to keep an open mind towards your speculative ideas, but you don't want me to have an open mind towards others who disagree with you? The Big Bang theory even in its most literal form doesn't say that something came from nothing, because it doesn't tell you where the laws of physics came from in the first place to make that bang. I personally find both the idea of time going infinitely far back and time having a beginning to be equally plausible, and neither view contradicts any known evidence.

    You always have the right to believe anything you want regardless of what any experiments say. But if I can establish that known experiments contradict your assumptions, you can't come on these forums and proclaim that your hypotheses don't contradict any known evidence, that would be disingenuous (doesn't preclude you from attempting to find an explanation for the experimental discrepancy, but you'd still have to admit to the discrepancy).

    Actually to be honest I don't think you've at all considered the situation I'm going to outline shortly, but we'll see as we go.
  16. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I just don't waste my time with considering any physics that has a beginning. Physics has to have caused the Big Bang in my book. If you can't lean one way or the other at least, I really can't justify the waste of time if you come out of the closet later with "something from nothing".
    Experiments produce results, they don't say anything other than "this is the result". We observe the result.
    Note that I bolded the part that I consider begins to make this about disdain and hubris. If your goals allow you to employ weak traits like that, and permit any tactics like those I called you out on in the other thread, that will turn me off faster than if you believe something can come from nothing. You are not reading my posts, or you don't believe me when I say that if you can show where my hypotheses are wrong, I will admit it, and go back to the drawing board. Read my 4000 plus posts over six years and you will see it has happened often as I learn. My model evolves when that happens, and yet you seem to suggest I should go away in shame if that happens. If you are in this for the prize of proving that your disdain toward me has been justified all along, I will soon know it.
    Go ahead then, after you address my concerns that make me think I am wasting my time. I know I'm wasting yours, but your are young. Just don't come back and flame me for wasting your time when you realize that I said, "You need to know the difference between theory and fact, and you need to be able to distinguish between observations that are explained, and observations that are not explained".
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  17. brucep Valued Senior Member

    Regardless his response or non response write it down for posterity. I always appreciate being re-informed.
  18. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I know you are busy, but all you have seen of my hobby-model is that it makes a hobby-prediction that the preexisting space time and energy to the Big Bang might provide a possible explanation for dark energy, which you refused to even talk about in the other thread. You have to explain the Big Bang, and you can't do it by saying that the laws of physics began with space and time, out of nothing. That is barely short of the "God did it" explanation, and that invokes the Supernatural, which is excluded by the scientific method.

    I guess you do know that if you believe that the universe could have come from nothing I would ask if you can explain how. Also, you know that if you think the laws of physics can change somehow, somewhere, I'm going to ask you to explain why you would consider that instead of considering the laws of physics as invariant.

    Maybe your whole motivation is your disdain for me, and you are trying to use your ego driven wits instead of a clear head, and a clear understanding of the nature of science; it is tentative. If you think any given theory is "reality", mention one you would stake your life on so I can see what "truth" is driving you to need to prove someone wrong about things that they hold as tentative, instead of presenting your own ideas for discussion.
  19. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    I didn't see any future to our discussion unless we change how it has been going, and I suspect if you lose the disdain, it would help to know the path down which I would have taken it to describe the model and get to where we can compare our views of the quantum realm.

    The hobby model has to have some basic assumptions, and they are that space, time, and energy are infinite. Everything depends on the full freedom of the two opposing major forces of expansion (energy density equalization) and gravity, and is connected through never ending processes in accord with the invariant natural laws of physics.

    That means that the Big Bang was a natural event in line with the invariant laws of physics which are always in effect everywhere.

    Big bangs are common events across the infinite landscape of the greater universe. They form when gravity allows enough galactic material from other expanding big bang arenas to form a big crunch at a location in space.

    The matter in the crunch is the remaining stable particles plus the energy that cannot escape the gravitational forces. When the crunch reaches an invariant critical capacity and the particles collapse, the high wave energy density of the particles is released into the vast low energy density space surrounding the big bang.

    The high energy density equalizes with the low energy density via the force of energy density equalization. The particles form from that mixing of energy density differentials and the wave energy from the negated particles and other released wave energy.

    As particles form they are in an environment where there are two major opposing forces, energy density equalization and gravity. They are imparted with separation momentum as they form during expansion, causing them to move away from each other. In close quarters they clump under the force of gravity and the resulting clumps conserve the separation momentum. The clumps are gas clouds out of which stars and galaxies eventually take shape.

    The resulting galactic structure on a large scale has retained the separation momentum, and the force of gravity is diminished as the separation distance increases within the expanding big bang arena, allowing expansion to accelerate, i.e. explaining dark energy.

    Since the landscape of the greater universe is populated with these expanding arenas, they inevitably intersect and overlap, providing sufficient galactic material for the formation of new big crunches here and there across the greater landscape.

    That is the big bang arena action process on the scale of the greater universe, but it is all dependent on the quantum level action that is always at work as particles form, move and interact.

    Gravity is due to quantum action where the detailed mechanics force particles to move in the direction of the highest inflowing net gravitational wave energy density. Particles and objects emit gravitational waves as they move.

    That is the path that I would have taken this thread in order to get to the details of the hobby-model quantum mechanics.

    Maybe that explanation can bring you back to pick up where you left off in explaining the experiments you were about to get to as time permits.
  20. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Is Bell's theory something to do with banning people?
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    @ Quantum_wave,
    Apologies for an apparent side step.
    After reading this thread the question comes to mind to help clarify for me your thoughts on the universe generally.
    Can I ask?
    1. Do you hypothesize that our known [visible] universe is an infinitely small and infinitely complex "object" within an infinitely large and infinitely complex "object" which I may refer to as the "greater universe"? ie, ball inside a ball inside a ball -analogy - A Matryoshka doll also known as Russian nesting doll.
    2. That this "Greater universe" is comprised of an infinite number of "lesser" universes? [our universe being one of them]
    3. That all universes obey the same laws of physics?
    or do you consider the the greater universe to be comprised of lesser universe's in the same way that this universe is comprised of galaxies that all obey the same laws of physics.
  22. quantum_wave Contemplating the "as yet" unknown Valued Senior Member

    No, our know universe is referred to as our Hubble view, and that is the observable portion of what is casually connected to our Big Bang event. That big bang event is one of an infinite number of such events playing out across the landscape of the greater universe. There is only one universe.
    There is only one universe composed of big bang arenas that are actively expanding, intersecting and overlapping, and forming new arenas out of the galactic material and energy contributed by other arenas. Arena action is a perpetual process across all space, and it defeats entropy.
    All big bang arenas obey the same laws of physics.

    Not trying to be picky about word use, but in the nomenclature I employ, there is only one universe, and there are multiple big bang arenas playing out across the landscape of the greater universe.
    No, the interaction of big bang arenas is nothing like the galactic structure within a big bang arena.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member


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