A Proposed Test of the Local Causality of Spacetime

  • Adrian KentEmail author
Part of the The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 73)

A theory governing the metric and matter fields in spacetime is locally causal if the probability distribution for the fields in any region is determined solely by physical data in the region's past, i.e. it is independent of events at space-like separated points. General relativity is manifestly locally causal, since the fields in a region are completely determined by physical data in its past. It is natural to ask whether other possible theories in which the fundamental description of space-time is classical and geometric—for instance, hypothetical theories which stochastically couple a classical spacetime geometry to a quantum field theory of matter—might also be locally causal.

A quantum theory of gravity, on the other hand, should allow the creation of spacetimes which violate local causality at the macroscopic level. This paper describes an experiment to test the local causality of spacetime, and hence to test whether or not gravity behaves as quantum theories of gravity suggest, in this respect. The experiment will either produce direct evidence that the gravitational field is not locally causal, and thus weak confirmation of quantum gravity, or else identify a definite limit to the domain of validity of quantum theory.


Quantum Theory Local Causality Measurement Choice CHSH Inequality Bell Experiment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Quantum Computation, DAMTP, Centre for Mathematical SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Perimeter Institute for Theoretical PhysicsWaterlooCanada

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