Possible experimental test of local commutativity

Phys. Rev. D 15, 3563 – Published 15 June 1977
Paul Benioff and Hans Ekstein


A direct experimental test for local commutativity (i.e., [A, B]=0 if A and B are associated with mutually spacelike regions) is proposed. It consists of a comparison of the distribution of outcomes of A measurements in the two cases where A alone is measured (no measurement apparatus for B present) and where both are measured on the same sample, in short, a test of the compatibility of the two observation procedures for A and B. The implication compatibility → commutativity (substantially proved by von Neumann, but questioned by Park and Margenau) is proved in a stronger form, with close attention paid to the distinction between different procedures corresponding to a given self-adjoint operator.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.15.3563

  • Received 25 February 1977
  • Published in the issue dated 15 June 1977

© 1977 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Paul Benioff

  • Chemistry Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439

Hans Ekstein

  • Centre de Physique Theorique, C.N.R.S. Marseille, France and Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439

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