Michael Cuffaro
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
We use Bub's (2016) correlation arrays and Pitowksy's (1989b) correlation polytopes to analyze an experimental setup due to Mermin (1981) for measurements on the singlet state of a pair of spin-12 particles. The class of correlations allowed by quantum mechanics in this setup is represented by an elliptope inscribed in a non-signaling cube. The class of correlations allowed by local hidden-variable theories is represented by a tetrahedron inscribed in this elliptope. We extend this analysis to pairs of particles of arbitrary spin. The class of correlations allowed by quantum mechanics is still represented by the elliptope; the subclass of those allowed by local hidden-variable theories by polyhedra with increasing numbers of vertices and facets that get closer and closer to the elliptope. We use these results to advocate for an interpretation of quantum mechanics like Bub's. Probabilities and expectation values are primary in this interpretation. They are determined by inner products of vectors in Hilbert space. Such vectors do not themselves represent what is real in the quantum world. They encode families of probability distributions over values of different sets of observables. As in classical theory, these values ultimately represent what is real in the quantum world. Hilbert space puts constraints on possible combinations of such values, just as Minkowski space-time puts constraints on possible spatio-temporal constellations of events. Illustrating how generic such constraints are, the equation for the elliptope derived in this paper is a general constraint on correlation coefficients that can be found in older literature on statistics and probability theory. Yule (1896) already stated the constraint. De Finetti (1937) already gave it a geometrical interpretation.
Keywords Correlation arrays  correlation polytopes  Bubism  Bell inequalities  Tsirelson bound  Born rule  kinematical constraints  principle theories  , measurement
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