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Bloch's Paradox and the Nonlocality of Chance

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Abstract:

I show how an almost exclusive focus on the simplest case - the case of a single particle - along with the commonplace conception of the single-particle wave function as a scalar field on spacetime contributed to the perception, first brought to light by I. Bloch, that there existed a contradiction between quantum theory with instantaneous state collapses and special relativity. The incompatibility is merely apparent since treating wave-function values as hypersurface dependent avoids the contradiction. After clarifying confusions which fueled the perception of a paradox, I elaborate on an analysis of the wave function due to Wayne Myrvold to show that nothing special, or ad hoc, is required in treating wave-function values, even in the single-particle case, as hypersurface-dependent; rather, the hypersurface dependence of these values is the natural development of nonlocal entanglement in the context of the relativity of simultaneity. Properly understood, what Bloch's paradox reveals is that the combination of nonlocal entanglement together with a hypersurface-dependent process of state collapse conflicts with the thesis of spatiotemporal separability and, in particular, with the idea that chances are local matters of fact.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02698590701498050

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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