Re: Bell's Inequality

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2000 - 10:39:18 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> 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.

You mean like which way the photon is polarized? (It is undetermined,
so it is unknown. This seems to fit, since this would determine whether
it makes it through a polarizing filter.)

> I have a black box, it has a red light and a blue light on it, it also has a rotary switch
> with 6 connections at the 12,2,4,6,8 and 10 o'clock positions. The red and blue light
> blink in a manner that passes all known tests for being completely random, this is true
> regardless of what position the rotary switch is in. Such a box could be made and
> still be completely deterministic by just pre-computing 6 different random sequences
> and recording them as a lookup table in the box. Now the box would know which light to flash.

Umm...possible error here. Unless the sequences are of infinite
length (which can't be precomputed, since it would take an infinite
amount of time), then the sequences are of finite length, so if you
observe it long enough, the algorithm can be observed as "repeat this
sequence if the switch is as position X". (Or, "repeat this sequence,
starting at position Y...", or whatever algorithmic enhancements one
makes to obfuscate it. It might not be easy, but it would be possible
given enough observations.)

> A correlation greater that 2/3, such as 3/4, for adjacent settings produces paradoxes,
> at least it would if you expected everything to work mechanistically because of some hidden
> variable involved. Does this mean it's impossible to make two boxes that have those
> specifications? Nope, but it does mean hidden variables can not be involved and that means
> something very weird is going on. Actually it would be quite easy to make a couple of boxes
> that behave like that, it's just not easy to understand how that could be.

Another possible error: what if you had 4 boxes, one set to 12 o'clock,
one set to 2 o'clock, one set to 4 o'clock, and one set to 6 o'clock.
By your logic, 12 has 1/4 difference from 2 has 1/4 difference from 4
has 1/4 difference from 6, and yet 12 has 4/4, not 3/4, difference from 6
at the same time. You could have "6 is 1/4 different from 4 if the
other box is set to 4, but 4/4 different from 12 if the other box is set
to 12", but how can you enforce 1/4 and 4/4 difference in the same run
as given above?

I get the feeling I'm missing something here...

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