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Sep 10, 2020

Physicists Just Found A New Quantum Theory That Cancels Main Pillars of Reality

New Quantum Paradox: We have found a new paradox in quantum mechanics – one of our two most fundamental scientific theories, together with Einstein’s theory of relativity – that throws doubt on some common-sense ideas about physical reality.

These are all intuitive ideas, and widely believed even by physicists. But our research, published in Nature Physics, shows they cannot all be true – or quantum mechanics itself must break down at some level.

This is the strongest result yet in a long series of discoveries in quantum mechanics that have upended our ideas about reality. To understand why it’s so important, let’s look at this history.

In our research, we built on an extended version of the Wigner’s friend paradox, first proposed by Časlav Brukner of the University of Vienna. In this scenario, there are two physicists – call them Alice and Bob – each with their own friends (Charlie and Debbie) in two distant labs.

There’s another twist: Charlie and Debbie are now measuring a pair of entangled particles, like in the Bell experiments.

As in Wigner’s argument, the equations of quantum mechanics tell us Charlie and Debbie should become entangled with their observed particles. But because those particles were already entangled with each other, Charlie and Debbie themselves should become entangled – in theory.

But what does that imply experimentally?

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