Foundations of Physics

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 427–448 | Cite as

Quantum nonlocality

  • Henry P. Stapp


It is argued that the validity of the predictions of quantum theory in certain spincorrelation experiments entails a violation of Einstein's locality idea that no causal influence can act outside the forward light cone. First, two preliminary arguments suggesting such a violation are reviewed. They both depend, in intermediate stages, on the idea that the results of certain unperformed experiments are physically determinate. The second argument is entangled also with the problem of the meaning of “physical reality.” A new argument having neither of these characteristics is constructed. It is based strictly on the orthodox ideas of Bohr and Heisenberg, and has no realistic elements, or other ingredients, that are alien to orthodox quantum thinking.


Quantum Theory Intermediate Stage Locality Idea Light Cone Physical Reality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    I cite the proceedings of three recent major international conferences in this field:Symposium on the Foundations of Modern Physics, P. Lahti and P. Mittelstaedt, eds. (World Scientific, Singapore, 1985);Microphysical Realism and Quantum Formalism, A. van der Merwe, F. Selleri, and G. Tarozzi, eds. (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1988);New Techniques and Ideas in Quantum Measurement Theory, D. Greenberger, (New York Academy of Sciences, New York, 1987).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Einstein, B. Podolsky, and N. Rosen,Phys. Rev. 47, 777 (1935), cited as EPR.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    N. Bohr,Phys. Rev. 48, 696 (1935).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Einstein, inAlbert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, P. A. Schilpp, ed. (Tudor, New York, 1951), pp. 85 and 682.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. S. Bell,Physics (N. Y.) 1, 195 (1964).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    I have adapted the EPR arguments to the variant proposed by Bohm and Aharonov: D. Bohm and Y. Aharonov,Phys. Rev. 103, 1070 (1957).Google Scholar
  7. 7. a.
    N. Bohr,Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 1934);Google Scholar
  8. 7. b.
    N. Bohr,Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1934);Google Scholar
  9. 7. b.
    N. Bohr,Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (Wiley, New York, 1959);Google Scholar
  10. 7. c.
    N. Bohr,Essays 1958/1962 on Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (Wiley, New York, 1963). See quotations given in H. P. Stapp,Am. J. Phys. 40, 1098 (1972).Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    W. Heisenberg,Physics and Philosophy (Harper and Row, New York, 1958); see comments in Appendix B of H. P. Stapp,Am. J. Phys. 40, 1098 (1972).Google Scholar
  12. 9.
    Ref. 4, p. 87Google Scholar
  13. 10.
    D. B. Schwartz, B. Sen, C. N. Archie, and J. E. Lukens,Phys. Rev. Lett. 55, 1547 (1985); S. Washburn, R. A. Webb, R. F. Voss, and S. M. Faris,Phys. Rev. Lett. 54, 2712 (1985).Google Scholar
  14. 11.
    H. Everett, III,Rev. Mod. Phys. 29, 454 (1957).Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    J. L. Doob,Stochastic Processes (Wiley, New York, 1953).Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    J. Clauser and A. Shimony,Rep. Prog. Phys. 41, 182 (1978).Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    J. Clauser and M. A. Horne,Phys. Rev. D 10, 526 (1974).Google Scholar
  18. 15.
    N. Bohr, Ref. 7a, p. 18.Google Scholar
  19. 16.
    N. Bohr, Ref. 7c, p. 60.Google Scholar
  20. 17.
    N. Bohr, Ref. 7b, p. 71.Google Scholar
  21. 18.
    N. Bohr, Ref. 7a, p. 75.Google Scholar
  22. 19.
    H. P. Stapp,Phys. Rev. D 3, 1303 (1971);Am. J. Phys. 53, 306 (1985); “Are faster-than-light influences necessary,” inQuantum Mechanics versus Local Realism: The Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen Paradox, F. Selleri, ed. (Plenum, New York, 1988); “Quantum Non-locality and the Description of Nature,” inPhilosophical Consequences of Quantum Theory, J. Cushing and E. McMullin, eds. (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1989).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry P. Stapp
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

Personalised recommendations