Foundations of Physics

, Volume 7, Issue 9–10, pp 735–757 | Cite as

The physics of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox

  • B. H. Kellett


The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox as formulated in their original paper is critically examined. Their argument that quantum mechanics is incomplete is shown to be unsatisfactory on two important grounds. (i) The gedanken experiment proposed by Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen is physically unrealizable, and consequently their argument is invalid as it stands. (ii) The basic assumptions of their argument are equivalent to the assumption that quantum mechanical systems are in fact describable by unique eigenfunctions of the operators corresponding to physical observables, independent of any observation or measurement. Following an argument due to Furry, it is shown that this interpretation of quantum mechanics must lead to some physical predictions at variance with those of conventional quantum mechanics. A decisive experiment has been performed by Freedman and Clauser, which rules out this interpretation, and imposes severe restrictions on any alternative theory which incorporates the Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen concept of physical reality.


Quantum Mechanic Rosen Mechanical System Basic Assumption Physical Reality 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corp 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. H. Kellett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural PhilosophyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowScotland

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