The weirdness theorem and the origin of quantum paradoxes

Benavoli, Alessio and Facchini, Alessandro and Zaffalon, Marco (2021) The weirdness theorem and the origin of quantum paradoxes. Foundations of Physics, 51. pp. 1-39.

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Abstract

We argue that there is a simple, unique, reason for all quantum paradoxes, and that such a reason is not uniquely related to quantum theory. It is rather a mathematical question that arises at the intersection of logic, probability, and computation. We give our ‘weirdness theorem’ that characterises the conditions under which the weirdness will show up. It shows that whenever logic has bounds due to the algorithmic nature of its tasks, then weirdness arises in the special form of negative probabilities or non-classical evaluation functionals. Weirdness is not logical inconsistency, however. It is only the expression of the clash between an unbounded and a bounded view of computation in logic. We discuss the implication of these results for quantum mechanics, arguing in particular that its interpretation should ultimately be computational rather than exclusively physical. We develop in addition a probabilistic theory in the real numbers that exhibits the phenomenon of entanglement, thus concretely showing that the latter is not specific to quantum mechanics.

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