Re: Bell's Inequality

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2000 - 10:57:47 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Jonathan Reeves Wrote:
> >Bell's Inequality ? I have not heard of this, brief explaination ?
> When a photon of undetermined polarization hits a polarizing filter there is a
> 50% chance it will make it through. For many years physicists who disliked
> the idea that God played dice with the universe figured there must be a hidden
> variable inside the photon that told it what to do. By "hidden variable" they meant
> something different about that particular photon that we just don't know about.
> They meant something equivalent to a lookup table inside the photon that for
> one reason or another we are unable to access but the photon can when it
> wants to know if it should go through a filter or be stopped by one. We now
> understand that is impossible. In 1964 (but not published until 1967) John Bell
> showed that correlations that work by hidden variables must be less than or equal
> to a certain value, this is called Bell's inequality. In experiment it was found that
> some correlations are actually greater than that value. Quantum Mechanics can
> explain this, classical physics or even classical logic can not.
> Even if Quantum Mechanics is someday proven to be untrue Bell's argument is still
> valid, in fact his original paper had no Quantum Mechanics in it; his point was that
> any successful theory about the world must explain why his inequality is violated.
> I'll try to show how to find the inequality, show why it is perfectly logical, and
> demonstrate that nature refuses to be sensible and just doesn't work the way you'd
> think it should.


> The bottom line of all this is that there can not be something special about a specific photon,
> some internal difference, some hidden variable that determines if it makes it through a filter
> or not. Thus the universe is either non-deterministic or non-local, that is, everything influences
> everything else and does so without regard for time or space. One thing is certain,
> whatever the truth is it's weird.

Well if the universe is really a huge matrix-like simulation at the
quantum level, why can't the photon and polarizing filter just "flip
a coin" when they interact and then proceed from there? That would make
it pretty easy. Thanks for your explanation.

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