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Non-separability does not relieve the problem of Bell's theorem

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Separability is the following ontological principle: completely specifying the physical properties associated to all members of a set of regions completely specifies the properties associated to the union of those regions. In this talk I will discuss claims that Bell’s theorem precludes not all local theories, but only local, separable theories. This claim has received much positive attention in the literature on Bell’s theorem. If true, it would enable the construction of local theories that reproduced the predictions of quantum mechanics, relieving the puzzlement and controversy that has followed the derivation of the famous result with a relatively minor sacrifice. However, I will argue that once some exactitude is bought to the discussion, it can be seen that separability is not an implicit assumption of Bell’s theorem, and neither is it necessary for the definition of locality in any relevant sense. After this clarification, I will point out some flaws in previous writings on the subject, and also comment on quotes from Einstein and Bell that supposedly support this “loophole”.

This talk is part of the CQIF Seminar series.

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