Answering More Questions in Quantum Mechanics

University of Vienna

Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences develop a new theoretical framework to describe how causal structures in quantum mechanics transform. They analyze under which conditions quantum mechanics allows the causal structure of the world to become “fuzzy.” In this case, a fixed order of events is not possible. The results are published in the renowned journal Physical Review X.

The idea that events occur one after the other in a fixed causal order is part of our intuitive picture of the physical world. Imagine that Alice can send a message to Bob via a wire that connects them. Alice decides to have a barbecue and can invite Bob via the wire connection. If he gets invited, Bob decides to prepare some Ćevapčići to bring along. This is an example where the event in which Alice decides to invite Bob to the barbecue influences the event in which Bob decides to prepare food. Such an order of events characterizes a definite causal structure.

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