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Title: Nonlocality, violation of Lorentz invariance, and wave-particle duality in quantum theory
Author: Hardy, Lucien
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis addresses some of the consequences of giving quantum mechanics a realist interpretation. We consider three main topics: wave-particle duality, locality, and Lorentz invariance. First we show that classical particles alone or classical waves alone cannot explain all single particle quantum phenomena. Then we consider the possibility that a quantum particle is composed of a particle and a wave, both being taken to exist objectively. We are able to demonstrate the reality of empty waves (that is, waves without a particle) if we make three realist motivated assumptions. The main part of this thesis concerns locality. In 1964 Bell demonstrated that a local realist interpretation of quantum mechanics is not possible by deriving a set of inequalities that apply to two particle systems. More recently Greenberger, Home, and Zeilinger have demonstrated this for systems with more than two particles without the need for inequalities. We present a new way to derive Bell inequalities for two particles and show how this can be extended to systems with more than two particles. A number of proposals for experiments to test local realism are put forward. In particular, we show how it is possible to demonstrate the nonlocality of a single photon. A new demonstration of Bell's theorem is presented for two particles but without inequalities. A realizable quantum optical version is proposed and inequalities are proposed which would be required in a non-ideal experiment. Finally, the question of Lorentz invariance is considered. We define a condition for the existence of elements of reality and a condition for the Lorentz invariance of these elements of reality. Then we show that, by considering a particular gedanken experiment, we obtain a contradiction demonstrating that Lorentz-invariant realistic interpretations of quantum theory are not possible.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Theoretical physics Physics Physics