Research ArticlePHYSICS

Relativistic independence bounds nonlocality

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Science Advances  12 Apr 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 4, eaav8370
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav8370


If nature allowed nonlocal correlations other than those predicted by quantum mechanics, would that contradict some physical principle? Various approaches have been put forward in the past two decades in an attempt to single out quantum nonlocality. However, none of them can explain the set of quantum correlations arising in the simplest scenarios. Here, it is shown that generalized uncertainty relations, as well as a specific notion of locality, give rise to both familiar and new characterizations of quantum correlations. In particular, we identify a condition, relativistic independence, which states that uncertainty relations are local in the sense that they cannot be influenced by other experimenters’ choices of measuring instruments. We prove that theories with nonlocal correlations stronger than the quantum ones do not satisfy this notion of locality, and therefore, they either violate the underlying generalized uncertainty relations or allow experimenters to nonlocally tamper with the uncertainty relations of their peers.

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