These questions are from Peter Bandurian for our wrap up meeting(s) on Peter Ball's

Beyond Weird: Why Everything You Thought You Knew about Quantum Physics is Different.

Cosmological friends:


This is addressed to the book subgroup but all are welcome to read and attend (06/17/2019 at 6PM in Boulder's Main Library Flatirons Conference Room).


At our last meeting we nominally finished our current book, "Beyond Weird". "Nominally" because we found that we weren't really getting "it". The point of reading and group-discussing a book such as this is to share ideas/insights to better understand the book's content. We found that for one topic after another, none of us seemed to "get it" and discussion didn't lead to a growth in understanding. So we decided to try something new. And I drew the short straw and get to write this.

"This" is a short list of topics that we found particularly confounding and worthy of clarifying study with additional discussion. We identified about a half dozen plus at the meeting and I get to list them, identify the pages they are discussed in the book (some are discussed in more than one part of the book), and identify additional reading material that I hope will lend some insight to the material. To repeat, instead of reading the book and getting through a lot of material, the intention is to focus on a small number of topics that we have agreed are worthy of additional study by each of us, share our new insights, and, hopefully, gain a greater understanding of those topics.

If I've left out anything that should be discussed or included something that I shouldn't, let us know. Bill should probably capture this, put it on the website,, and update as necessary. Sorry, Bill, homework for you!

Cheers, Peter

Page numbers refer to page location within Beyond Weird. Some of the references are applicable to more than one topic. Without further ado:


*1. p165-177: Bell & EPR. Clarify the range of correlation values attainable in the experiment. What is meant by (p. 174) "outside the range +2 to -2".


*2. p. 190-195: Contextualization, quantum boxes, Kochen-Specker theorem, princess-suitors.


Leifer, The reality of the quantum state from Kochen-Specker contextuality:


Simmons, How (Maximally) Contextual is Quantum Mechanics?



*3. p. 213-216: Use molecules that one can see through a microscope - i.e. they are, if not macroscopic, in a middle ground between our macroscopic world and the unquestionably quantum mechanical atomic realm - to demonstrate interference effects and control the rate of decoherence. Perhaps the least challenging topic in this list but it documents a very fundamental experiment in the understanding - through decoherence - of QM. And the fact that the rate of decoherence, which turns out in at least one experiment, to be surprisingly simple, is a wonderful fact.


"Not Even Wrong" blog entry on death of Zeg and references within:

Zeh's ongoing paper (old man's version of a blog!), largely written for a general audience:

Threaded from the Literature section of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy overview article on Decoherence

Zurek, Decoherence and the Transition from Quantum to Classical - Revisited:

A more challenging version, Decoherence, einselection and the quantum origins of the classical

*4. p. 232-234, 283-285: Quantum discord is a measure of the "quantumness" of a system. Note the essence of QM is not the quantization of stuff but entanglement. Quantization follows from it.


Paper by Ollivier and Zurek titled:"Quantum Discord: A Measure of the Quantumness of Correlations". Click here.


Leggett & Garg, Quantum Mechanics vs. Macroscopic Realism: Is the Flux There when Nobody Looks?




5. p.184-188, 280, 308-9 Non-locality is not to be thought of as instantaneous information transfer but rather as a question of where information resides.


Zeilinger: "A Foundational Principle for Quantum Mechanics"


Zeilinger: Quantum Entanglement is independent of Space and Time:


(Note on p. 280: "But it's possible to have interference without entanglement, as in the double-slit experiment, say." I think this is wrong!)


Mermin, Hidden Variables and the Two Theorems of John Bell



*7. p. 309-319 Discusses PR boxes, stronger non-locality than ordinary quantum non-locality, and information causality: can't deduce anything more than the equivalent of what the receiver is told i.e. the number of bits sent limits the number of bits can surmise of a message. In my opinion, Ball not up to the high (in my opinion) standard he has set in this book at explaining stuff. Thus, we need some external educational info.


P&R paper: Causality and Nonlocality as Axioms for QM:


Tsirelson's bound (a measure of the maximum amount of information that can be entanglement transferred):

From Bell inequalities to Tsirelson's Theorem: A Survey


*8. p. 332-333: QM as information transfer. Quantum computation is only of interest to this group in so far as what is computationally possible reflects deep QM realities. Is unconditional bit commitment impossible? Apparently so which indicates a limit on how much information entanglement can carry.


Jeffrey Bub: Quantum mechanics is about quantum information:


Clifton, Bub, Halvorson: Characterizing quantum theory in terms of information-theoretic constraints:

Peter Bandurian


This is (last updated on 06/17/2019).