Tuesday, October 5, 2021

No Nobel Prize for Bell Test Experiments

Dr. Bee wrote:
I think a Nobel prize for the second quantum revolution is overdue. The people whose names are most associated with it are Anton Zeilinger, John Clauser, and Alain Aspect. They’ve been on the list for a Nobel Prize for quite some while and I hope that this year they’ll get lucky.
Many have been predicting Nobel prizes for these guys. And previously for David Bohm and John Bell, but they are now dead. See Bell test, for a survey of this work.

They have been passed up again this year.

My guess is that the explanation is that they do not give prizes for merely confirming existing knowledge. These experiments had the potential of disproving quantum mechanics, and that is what was driving the work by Bell and others. But they just confirmed the 1927 theory.

They say these experiments prove how strange quantum mechanics, because they show that it cannot be replaced by a local hidden variable theory. But again, that has been the consensus since about 1930. A Nobel prize for this would be like a prize for demonstrating energy conservation.

Some say that the Bell ideas provoked a lot of thinking about quantum information, "it from bit", and maybe even quantum computing.

But the maybe oddest thing to have come out of this is quantum teleportation. Quantum teleportation allows you to send quantum information with entangled states, even if you don’t yourself know the quantum information. ...

Quantum technologies have a lot of potential that we’re only now beginning to explore.

Dozens of Nobel prizes have been given for quantum theory. I just don't see quantum teleportation as important or interests, either theoretically or practically.


  1. Roger,
    The Nobel prize has become much like the Oscars:
    Vain, virtue signaling, and increasingly irrelevant.

    If you want attention and fortune, maybe you should go into show biz, not science. Actual accomplishment in science shouldn't be evaluated by currying favor for a Swedish door prize.

    When rich people feel guilty, and start to realize they're mortal and can't take it with them, they begin to virtue signal in desperation.

    We call this philanthropy.

  2. You can still have an ontic realist (not instrumental realist) and local quantum theory with classic random fields. There needs to be better multiparticle experiments determining the accuracy of the ad-hoc Born rule. HQFT is also local and may overcome current objections to it. Quantum mechanics as given is nonlocal because lambda can be psi, so a spread-out wave function collapses at space-like separation. QFT talks about vanishing commutators but it's just the same thing.

  3. Quantum teleportation requires the transmission of classic bits but both sides share the same Bell state basis. There is no mystery.