Volume 2, Issue 1, pages 1-16
D. Almada, K. Ch’ng, S. Kintner, B. Morrison and K. B. Wharton [Show Biography]
Ken Wharton received his physics degrees from Stanford and UCLA, and is now a full professor at San Jose State University; his co-authors are current or former students at SJSU. Wharton’s early research concerned experimental laser-plasma interactions, but for the past decade he has specialized in quantum foundations. A member of the Foundational Questions Institute, Wharton spends some of his efforts on popular outreach (general-level essays, a piece in New Scientist, an appearance on Through The Wormhole, etc.) His current research is focused on developing explanations for quantum phenomena using only continuous structures in ordinary spacetime.
An explicit retrocausal model is used to analyze the general Wood-Spekkens argument that any causal explanation of Bell-inequality violations must be unnaturally fine-tuned to avoid signaling. The no-signaling aspects of the model turn out to be robust under variation of the only free parameter, even as the probabilities deviate from standard quantum theory. The ultimate reason for this robustness is then traced to a symmetry assumed by the original model. A broader conclusion is that symmetry-based restrictions seem a natural and acceptable form of fine-tuning, not an unnatural model-rigging. And if the Wood-Spekkens argument is indicating the presence of hidden symmetries, this might even be interpreted as supporting time-symmetric retrocausal models.