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Noncontextuality without determinism and admissible (in)compatibility relations: revisiting Specker's parable.



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PIRSA Number: 
14010102

Abstract

The purpose of this talk is twofold: First, following Spekkens, to motivate noncontextuality as a natural principle one might expect to hold in nature and introduce operational noncontextuality inequalities motivated by a contextuality scenario first considered by Ernst Specker. These inequalities do not rely on the assumption of outcome-determinism which is implicit in the usual Kochen-Specker (KS) inequalities. We argue that they are the appropriate generalization of KS inequalities, serving as a test for the possibility of noncontextual explanations of experimental data. This is very much in the spirit of Bell inequalities, which provide theory-independent tests for local hidden variable explanations of experimental data without relying on the assumption of outcome-determinism. The second purpose is to point out a curious feature of quantum theory, motivated by the connections between (in)compatibility and (non)contextuality: namely, that it admits all conceivable (in)compatibility relations between observables.