SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Another Counterexample to Markov Causation from Quantum Mechanics: Single Photon Experiments and the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer
(Philosophy of Science, English)

The theory of causal Bayes nets (Pearl 2009; Spirtes, Glymour, Scheines 2000) is, from an empirical point of view, currently one of the most promising approaches to causation on the marked. There are, however, counterexamples to its core axiom, the causal Markov condition. The probably most serious of these counterexamples are EPR/B experiments in quantum mechanics (cf. Näger 2016; Wood, Spekkens 2012). EPR/B experiments are, however, the only counterexamples yet known from the quantum realm. One might wonder whether EPR/B experiments are the only phenomena in the quantum realm that make problems for causal Bayes nets. In this paper I provide a negative answer to that question: I show that single photon experiments in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) also violate the causal Markov condition. I then argue that the Markov violation does not occur under the de Broglie-Bohm interpretation of Bohmian mechanics.

Chair: Iulian Toader
Time: 11:10-11:40, 15 September 2017 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.006

Nina Retzlaff 
(DCLPS, University of Duesseldorf, Germany)

Nina Retzlaff is a research fellow at the Düsseldorf center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (DCLPS) at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. She studied mathematics with a minor in biology at the University of Cologne and is interested in quantum mechanics. Her research interests lie in philosophy of science and metaphysics, especially in causality within quantum mechanics. In the context of her PhD thesis, she is investigating causality with regard to quantum mechanics.

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