Samson Abramsky (University of Oxford) |
Adam Brandenburger (New York University) |
Andrei Savochkin (New Economic School, Moscow) |

No-Signalling is a fundamental constraint on the probabilistic predictions made by physical theories. It is usually justified in terms of the constraints imposed by special relativity. However, this justification is not as clear-cut as is usually supposed. We shall give a different perspective on this condition by showing an equivalence between No-Signalling and Lambda Independence, or "free choice of measurements", a condition on hidden-variable theories which is needed to make no-go theorems such as Bell's theorem non-trivial. More precisely, we shall show that a probability table describing measurement outcomes is No-Signalling if and only if it can be realized by a Lambda-Independent hidden-variable theory of a particular canonical form, in which the hidden variables correspond to non-contextual deterministic predictions of measurement outcomes. The key proviso which avoids contradiction with Bell's theorem is that we consider hidden-variable theories with signed probability measures over the hidden variables - i.e. negative probabilities. Negative probabilities have often been discussed in the literature on quantum mechanics. We use a result proved previously in "The Sheaf-theoretic Structure of Locality and Contextuality" by Abramsky and Brandenburger, which shows that they give rise to, and indeed characterize, the entire class of No-Signalling behaviours. In the present paper, we put this result in a broader context, which reveals the surprising consequence that the No-Signalling condition is equivalent to the apparently completely different notion of free choice of measurements. |

Published: 27th December 2014.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.171.1 | bibtex | |

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