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BananaworldQuantum Mechanics for Primates$
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Jeffrey Bub

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718536

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718536.001.0001

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Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics

Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics

(p.1) 1 Nobody Understands Quantum Mechanics

Jeffrey Bub

Oxford University Press

In a quantum world, there are nonlocal correlations with no common cause, where a direct causal influence between the correlated events can be excluded. Moreover, these correlated events are separately intrinsically random. In the contemporary quantum information literature, correlations are studied abstractly in “Boxworld.” A “box” is an imaginary device, with input and output ports on each side, defined by a particular correlation between inputs and outputs, without any specification of an internal mechanism that could produce the correlation. Bananaworld is Boxworld, with bananas and peelings and tastes instead of boxes with inputs and outputs. The idea is to get at what is puzzling about quantum correlations by considering the extent to which Alice and Bob, limited to certain resources, could simulate various correlations in Bananaworld. This introductory chapter introduces these ideas, beginning with a brief exposition of the birth of quantum mechanics in Heisenberg’s 1925 breakthrough paper. The chapter concludes with a self-contained introduction to special relativity.

Keywords:   information, correlation, common cause, simulation, entanglement, intrinsically random, light postulate, relativity principle, time dilation, length contraction

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