Bell Correlations and the Common Future

  • Ämin Baumeler
  • Julien Degorre
  • Stefan Wolf
Part of the STEAM-H: Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Mathematics & Health book series (STEAM)


Reichenbach’s principle states that in a causal structure, correlations of classical information can stem from a common cause in the common past or a direct influence from one of the events in correlation to the other. The difficulty of explaining Bell correlations through a mechanism in that spirit can be read as questioning either the principle or even its basis: causality. In the former case, the principle can be replaced by its quantum version, accepting as a common cause an entangled state, leaving the phenomenon as mysterious as ever on the classical level (on which, after all, it occurs). If, more radically, the causal structure is questioned in principle, closed space-time curves may become possible that, as is argued in the present note, can give rise to non-local correlations if to-be-correlated pieces of classical information meet in the common future—which they need to if the correlation is to be detected in the first place. The result is a view resembling Brassard and Raymond-Robichaud’s parallel-lives variant of Hermann’s and Everett’s relative-state formalism, avoiding “multiple realities.”



We thank Andrei Khrennikov, Nicolas Gisin, and Nicolas Brunner for their kind invitation to the fascinating event in Växjö. This research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), the National Centre of Competence in Research Quantum Science and Technology (QSIT), the COST action on Fundamental Problems in Quantum Physics, and the Hasler Foundation.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ämin Baumeler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julien Degorre
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Wolf
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of InformaticsUniversità della Svizzera italianaLuganoSwitzerland
  2. 2.Facoltà indipendente di GandriaLunga scalaGandriaSwitzerland

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