Axioms for quantum mechanics: relativistic causality, retrocausality, and the existence of a classical limit

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Y. Aharonov and A. Shimony both conjectured that two axioms - relativistic causality (``no superluminal signalling'') and nonlocality - so nearly contradict each other that only quantum mechanics reconciles them. Can we indeed derive quantum mechanics, at least in part, from these two axioms? No: ``PR-box'' correlations show that quantum correlations are not the most nonlocal correlations consistent with relativistic causality. Here we replace ``nonlocality'' with ``retrocausality'' and supplement the axioms of relativistic causality and retrocausality with a natural and minimal third axiom: the existence of a classical limit, in which macroscopic observables commute. That is, just as quantum mechanics has a classical limit, so must any generalization of quantum mechanics. In this limit, PR-box correlations violaterelativistic causality. Generalized to all stronger-than-quantum bipartite correlations, this result is a derivation of Tsirelson's bound (a theorem of quantum mechanics) from the three axioms of relativistic causality, retrocausality and the existence of a classical limit. Although the derivation does not assume quantum mechanics, it points to the Hilbert space structure that underlies quantum correlations.
Original languageEnglish
PagesL44.008
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
EventAPS March Meeting 2016 -
Duration: 1 Mar 2016 → …

Conference

ConferenceAPS March Meeting 2016
Period1/03/16 → …

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