Quantum Nonlocality

Quantum nonlocality is the phenomenon by which measurements made at a microscopic level necessarily refute one or more notions (often referred to as local realism) that are regarded as intuitively true in classical mechanics. Rigorously, quantum nonlocality refers to quantum mechanical predictions of many-system measurement correlations that cannot be simulated by any local hidden variable theory. Many entangled quantum states produce such correlations when measured, as demonstrated by Bell’s theorem.

Experiments have generally favored quantum mechanics as a description of nature, over local hidden variable theories. Any physical theory that supersedes or replaces quantum theory must make similar experimental predictions and must therefore also be nonlocal in this sense; quantum nonlocality is a property of the universe that is independent of our description of nature.

Whilst quantum nonlocality improves the efficiency of various computational tasks, it does not allow for faster-than-light communication, and hence is compatible with special relativity. However, it prompts many of the foundational discussions concerning quantum theory. The study of physical theories more nonlocal than quantum theory - yet still compatible with special relativity - is an active field of research.