, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 301-322

Locality in the Everett Interpretation of Heisenberg-Picture Quantum Mechanics

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Abstract

Bell's theorem depends crucially on counterfactual reasoning, and is mistakenly interpreted as ruling out a local explanation for the correlations which can be observed between the results of measurements performed on spatially-separated quantum systems. But in fact the Everett interpretation of quantum mechanics, in the Heisenberg picture, provides an alternative local explanation for such correlations. Measurement-type interactions lead, not to many worlds but, rather, to many local copies of experimental systems and the observers who measure their properties. Transformations of the Heisenberg-picture operators corresponding to the properties of these systems and observers, induced by measurement interactions, “label” each copy and provide the mechanism which, e. g., ensures that each copy of one of the observers in an EPRB or GHZM experiment will only interact with the “correct” copy of the other observer(s). The conceptual problem of nonlocality is thus replaced with a conceptual problem of proliferating labels, as correlated systems and observers undergo measurement-type interactions with newly-encountered objects and instruments; it is suggested that this problem may be resolved by considering quantum field theory rather than the quantum mechanics of particles.