Summary of “Quantum Physics May Be Even Spookier Than You Think”

One fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics is that tiny particles can behave like waves, so that those passing through one slit “Interfere” with those going through the other, their wavy ripples either boosting or canceling one another to create a characteristic pattern on a detector screen.
One potential solution-developed by Elitzur’s former mentor, Israeli physicist Yakir Aharonov, now at Chapman University, and his collaborators-suggests a way to deduce something about quantum particles before measuring them.
Aharonov’s approach is called the two-state-vector formalism of quantum mechanics, and postulates quantum events are in some sense determined by quantum states not just in the past-but also in the future.
Rather, in the TSVF one can gain retrospective knowledge of what happened in a quantum system by selecting the outcome: Instead of simply measuring where a particle ends up, a researcher chooses a particular location in which to look for it.
“It’s generally accepted that the TSVF is mathematically equivalent to standard quantum mechanics,” says David Wallace, a philosopher of science at the University of Southern California who specializes in interpretations of quantum mechanics.
The apparent vanishing of particles in one place at one time-and their reappearance in other times and places-suggests a new and extraordinary vision of the underlying processes involved in the nonlocal existence of quantum particles.
Such an interpretation of quantum behavior would be, he says, “Revolutionary”-because it would entail a hitherto unguessed menagerie of real states underlying counterintuitive quantum phenomena.
“The experiment is bound to work,” says Wharton-but he adds it “Won’t convince anyone of anything, since the results are predicted by standard quantum mechanics.” In other words, there would be no compelling reason to interpret the outcome in terms of the TSVF rather than one of the many other ways that researchers interpret quantum behavior.

The orginal article.