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Causality in Time-Neutral Cosmologies

Abstract

Gell-Mann and Hartle (GMH) have recently considered time-neutral cosmological models in which the initial and final conditions are independently specified, and several authors have investigated experimental tests of such models. We point out here that GMH time-neutral models can allow superluminal signalling, in the sense that it can be possible for observers in those cosmologies, by detecting and exploiting regularities in the final state, to construct devices which send and receive signals between space-like separated points. In suitable cosmologies, any single superluminal message can be transmitted with probability arbitrarily close to one by the use of redundant signals. However, the outcome probabilities of quantum measurements generally depend on precisely which past {\it and future} measurements take place. As the transmission of any signal relies on quantum measurements, its transmission probability is similarly context-dependent. As a result, the standard superluminal signalling paradoxes do not apply. Despite their unusual features, the models are internally consistent. These results illustrate an interesting conceptual point. The standard view of Minkowski causality is not an absolutely indispensable part of the mathematical formalism of relativistic quantum theory. It is contingent on the empirical observation that naturally occurring ensembles can be naturally pre-selected but not post-selected.Comment: 5 pages, RevTeX. Published version -- minor typos correcte

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    Last time updated on 01/04/2019