What does an experimental test of quantum contextuality prove or disprove?
Abstract
The possibility of experimentally testing the BellKochenSpecker theorem is investigated critically, following the demonstrations by Meyer, Kent, and CliftonKent that the predictions of quantum mechanics are indistinguishable (up to arbitrary precision) from those of a noncontextual model, and the subsequent debate about the extent to which these models are actually classical or noncontextual. The present analysis starts from a careful consideration of these ‘finiteprecision’ approximations. A stronger condition for noncontextual models, dubbed ontological faithfulness, is exhibited. It is shown that this allows us to approximately formulate the constraints in BellKochenSpecker theorems, such as to render the usual proofs robust. Consequently, one can experimentally test to finite precision ontologically faithful noncontextuality, and thus experimentally refute explanations from this smaller class. We include a discussion of the relation of ontological faithfulness to other proposals to overcome the finite precision objection.
This article is part of a special issue of Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical devoted to ‘50 years of Bell’s theorem’.
 Publication:

Journal of Physics A Mathematical General
 Pub Date:
 October 2014
 DOI:
 10.1088/17518113/47/42/424031
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1408.0945
 Bibcode:
 2014JPhA...47P4031W
 Keywords:

 Quantum Physics;
 Physics  History and Philosophy of Physics
 EPrint:
 REVTEX4, 9 pages, 57 references