Classical systems can be contextual too: Analogue of the Mermin-Peres square

25 Feb 2015  ·  Blasiak Pawel ·

Contextuality lays at the heart of quantum mechanics. In the prevailing opinion it is considered as a signature of 'quantumness' that classical theories lack... However, this assertion is only partially justified. Although contextuality is certainly true of quantum mechanics, it cannot be taken by itself as discriminating against classical theories. Here we consider a representative example of contextual behaviour, the so-called Mermin-Peres square, and present a discrete toy model of a bipartite system which reproduces the pattern of quantum predictions that leads to contradiction with the assumption of non-contextuality. This illustrates that quantum-like contextual effects have their analogues within classical models with epistemic constraints such as limited information gain and measurement disturbance. read more

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Quantum Physics Classical Physics