Bell’s experiment tested the following axioms of current physics (D’Espagnat, 1979):
1. Physical realism. That “there is some physical reality whose existence is independent of human observers.” (D’Espagnat, 1979) p158
2. Locality. That no influence of any kind can travel faster than the speed of light.
3. Induction. That logical induction is a valid mode of reasoning.
The result showed that one or more of these assumptions must be wrong. If physical realism and induction are true, then locality must be wrong. If locality and induction are true, there can’t be a real physical world out there. If physical realism and locality are true, then logical induction must be false. To this day, physics has not resolved this issue:
“According to quantum theory, quantum correlations violating Bell’s inequalities merely happen, somehow from outside space-time, in the sense that there is no story in space-time that can describe their occurrence:” (Salart et al., 2008) p1
Quantum realism resolves the quantum paradox by changing the first two axioms as follows:
1. Remove the word “physical” from the first axiom so it becomes:
That there is a physical reality whose existence is independent of human observers
This permits a quantum reality to exist independent of human observers.
2. Add the world “physical” to the second axiom so it becomes:
That no physical influence of any kind can propagate faster than the speed of light.
This permits quantum collapse to occur instantly as server-client effects aren’t physical influences, so Bell’s results no longer contradict locality.
For example, a statement of scientific realism such as:
“If one adopts a realistic view of science, then one holds that there is a true and unique structure to the physical universe which scientists discover rather than invent.” (Barrow, 2007) p124
now becomes instead:
“If one adopts a realistic view of science, then one holds that there is a true and unique structure to the physical universe which scientists discover rather than invent.”
Removing “physical” from the first statement gives quantum realism, that science discovers rather than invents the true and unique structure of the universe, even though it isn’t the world we see. If physical reality reflects quantum reality, physical laws come from quantum laws that aren’t limited by their output. This new realism requires new rules based on quantum theory not physical mechanics.
Quantum theory describes waves spreading not billiard ball particles following linear paths so light does indeed take every path. It sees a physical event as a primal choice not an inevitable mechanic so randomness is real. And it calls the result an observation not a collision so observing is an inherent property of quantum reality. Hence just as an eye can’t see itself seeing, we can’t observe quantum reality because it is what creates the observation itself.
The resulting vision of a universe where everything observes, everything chooses and everything is alive is a far cry from the mechanistic universe usually portrayed by physics. Materialism was the mother of physics but as every child one day leaves its mother for a new reality, so physics must give up physical realism to adopt a new realism based on new facts.