Foundations of Physics

, Volume 36, Issue 10, pp 1441-1473

First online:

The Free Will Theorem

  • John ConwayAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Princeton University
  • , Simon KochenAffiliated withDepartment of Mathematics, Princeton University Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


On the basis of three physical axioms, we prove that if the choice of a particular type of spin 1 experiment is not a function of the information accessible to the experimenters, then its outcome is equally not a function of the information accessible to the particles. We show that this result is robust, and deduce that neither hidden variable theories nor mechanisms of the GRW type for wave function collapse can be made relativistic and causal. We also establish the consistency of our axioms and discuss the philosophical implications.


EPR entanglement K–S paradox indeterminacy