Radical Nonlocality

Ulrich J Mohrhoff


This article points out a nonlocality of quantum mechanics that is significantly more radical than that implied by violations of Bell locality or Einstein locality. It consists in the fact that the spatiotemporal differentiation of the physical world is incomplete. The so-called parts of space only exist to the extent that they are physically realized, and arbitrarily small parts cannot be physically realized. Further it is shown that intrinsically all fundamental particles are identical in the radical sense of numerical identity. Hence it is impossible to model reality "from the bottom up," whether on the basis of an intrinsically and completely differentiated space or spacetime or out of a multitude of intrinsically distinct building blocks. Quantum theory's explanatory arrow points in the opposite direction — from unity to multiplicity. In addition to establishing these conclusions, the article examines their implications for the enterprise called physics, illuminates these conclusions and their implications in a quintessential Indian philosophical context, and points out that while the radical nonlocality of the quantum world renders intelligible the possibility of paranormal correlations, quantum mechanics offers no help in explaining how paranormal phenomena come about.


Quantum Mechanics, Interpretation (Quantum Theory), Nonlocality,Space, Time, Ultimate Reality, Fundamental Particles, Sri Aurobindo, Ontology, Metaphysics

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