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Tracing quantum correlations back to collective interferences

Ming JiJonte R. HanceHolger F. Hofmann
Jan 2024
In this paper, we investigate the possibility of explaining nonclassical correlations between two quantum systems in terms of quantum interferences between collective states of the two systems. We achieve this by mapping the relations between different measurement contexts in the product Hilbert space of a pair of two-level systems onto an analogous sequence of interferences between paths in a single-particle interferometer. The paradoxical relations between different measurement outcomes can then be traced to the distribution of probability currents in the interferometer. We show that the relation between probability currents and correlations can be represented by continuous conditional (quasi)probability currents through the interferometer, given by weak values; the violation of the noncontextual assumption is expressed by negative conditional currents in some of the paths. Since negative conditional currents correspond to the assignment of negative conditional probabilities to measurements results in different measurement contexts, the necessity of such negative probability currents represents a failure of noncontextual local realism. Our results help to explain the meaning of nonlocal correlations in quantum mechanics, and support Feynman's claim that interference is the origin of all quantum phenomena.
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