Distinguishing influence from inference in quantum theory
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Canada)
For the talk slides, see Slides
For the talk video, see Video

The physicist E. T. Jaynes famously described the standard formulation of quantum theory as "a peculiar mixture describing in part realities of Nature, in part incomplete human information about Nature --- all scrambled up by Heisenberg and Bohr into an omelette that nobody has seen how to unscramble. One aspect of the omelette of ontology and epistemology is a scrambling of the concepts of causation and correlation. Causal relations can support influences: by manipulating one variable, I can come to control another. Correlations, on the other hand, merely support inferences: by learning one variable I can update my knowledge of the other. In this talk, I will review recent work that seeks to disentangle causation and correlation in quantum theory, and how it suggests a route to providing a causal account of Bell-inequality violations.