_{V}_{O}_{L}_{U}_{M}_{E}_{6}_{2}_{,}
_{N}_{U}_{M}_{B}_{E}_{R} _{1}_{9}
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Bell Inequality for Position and Time
_{8}
_{M}_{A}_{Y}_{1}_{9}_{8}_{9}
J. D. Franson
Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, Maryland 207076099 (Received 24 October 1988)
The quantummechanical uncertainty in the position of a particle or the time of its emission is shown to produce observable effects that are inconsistent with any local hiddenvariable theory. A new experi mental test of local hiddenvariable theories based on optical interference is proposed.
PACS numbers:
03.65.Bz, 42.50.Wm
Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen ^{1} argued that those properties of a system not precisely specified by the quantum theory may have welldefined values deter mined by some additional variables in a more complete theory. Bell ^{2} later showed that all local hiddenvariable theories are inconsistent with the quantumtheory pre dictions for the correlations between the spins or polar izations of two distant particles, which have now been verified in a number of experiments. It has been pointed out, however, that violations of Bell's inequality need not be limited 3 to spins or polarizations and that the existing experiments are dependent upon various auxiliary as sumptions. 4 As a result, there has been an interest in the possibility of further experimental tests involving other observables and larger spatial separations. Ghosh and Mandel 5 have recently observed nonlocal effects that correspond to interference between the prob ability amplitudes for the two ways in which a pair of photons can travel from two slits to two detectors. Un fortunately, a test of Bell's inequality in those experi ments would also require the use of polarizers. 6 This paper derives a new violation of Bell's inequality that is dependent upon interference between the proba bility amplitudes for a pair of photons to have been emit ted at various times by an excited atom. The results show that the quantummechanical uncertainty associat ed with the usual wavepacket description of a particle is inconsistent with any local hiddenvariable theory. A new experimental test based on optical interference is proposed, with the interesting feature that the predicted interference occurs for optical path differences much larger than the usual (firstorder) coherence length. The inequality is based on the threelevel system shown in Fig. 1. At time t o an atom is assumed to have been excited into the upper state l{f1, which has a relatively long lifetime 'l'1. After emission of a photon r1 with wavelength A.1, the atom will be in the intermediate state l{f2, which has a relatively short lifetime r2« T1. Thus a second photon r2 with wavelength A.2 will be emitted very soon after yi, and a coincidence counting experiment would show a very narrow peak with a width 't'2• The final state lfl3 is assumed to either have a very long lifetime r3 or to be the ground state. In principle, y1 and r2 could be any massless particles emitted by any quantum system, since the results do not depend on their
properties. As a practical matter, atomic transitions fre quently do satisfy the condition r2« T1• Photons y1 and r2 are then collimated by lenses L 1 and L1 into beams which propagate toward distant detectors D1 and D2, respectively, as illustrated in Fig. 2. Spectral filters Fi and F2 transmit only wavelengths A.1 and A.2. Halfsilvered mirrors M1, Ml, M1, and Mi can be inserted into the beams, but the situation without those mirrors will be considered first. In the absence of the halfsilvered mirrors, the coin cidence counting rate will simply show a narrow peak in dicating that r1 and r2 were emitted at times which were the same to within a small uncertainty 't'2• The quantummechanical description of this process is highly nonlocal, however, since the time at which either photon was emitted was initially uncertain over a much larger time interval r1. As a result, the two photons must in itially be described by wave packets in which their time of emission and thus their position is relatively uncertain. The detection of one of the photons, say r1, immediately determines the time of emission of the other photon and thus its position to within a much smaller uncertainty, which must be reflected by a nonlocal change in the wave function describing the other photon. This nonlocal reduction of the wave function is analogous to that which occurs in the polarization measurements of Bell's origi
lifetime •1 for the initial state and a much shorter lifetime •2 for the intermediate state.
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(I)
FIG. 2.
Photon coincidence measurements including interference between the amplitudes along the shorter paths, S1 and S2, and
the longer paths, L 1 and Li.
nal theorem, but here the reduction affects the position and time of emission rather than the polarization. Although local theories do not allow such instantane ous changes in distant fields, the results could conceiv ably be consistent with some hiddenvariable theory in which the times of emission of the two photons were ac tually determined all along. The fact 7 that single pho tons produce interference patterns over distances much larger than cr1 suggests, however, that the wavelike na ture of the photons cannot be neglected and that hiddenvariable theories may be incapable of describing the situation in its entirety. This will now be shown to be the case by considering the modified coincidence experiment with the half silvered mirrors in place. M1 and M _{2} split the beams equally into components which travel along either the shorter paths to the detectors, S 1 and S _{2}_{,} or the longer paths, L1 and Li. The difference l'lT in the transit times via the longer and shorter paths is assumed to be the same for both photons and is chosen to satisfy the condi tion
r2«l'lT«r1 .
Phaseshift plates <1>1 and <1>2 are used to introduce vari able phase shifts q,1 and q,2 into the two beams. Half silvered mirrors Mi and M2 recombine the two com ponents, with one set of recombined beams traveling to ward D1 and D2 as before. For simplicity, the detection efficiencies will be assumed to be l.O, in which case any particles not detected in D1 or D2 will be detected in Di or D2 instead. A calculation of the coincidence rates predicted by quantum mechanics for this situation is complicated somewhat by the fact that the localization of the parti cles in space and time requires the use of second quantized field operators. If the quantum system is as sumed to emit massless particles with no spin or polar ization, the relevant field operator is
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(2)
where a� creates a particle with momentum k and Vis a large volume containing the system. The derivation which follows will be based on Eq. (2) instead of the electric field operator appropriate for photons in order to explicitly demonstrate the lack of dependence on the po larization and to simplify the notation somewhat. It should be apparent, however, that the same results would be obtained using the electric field operator. It will be convenient to adopt the Heisenberg represen tation where the operators evolve in time while the states remain constant, in which case the timedependent field operator is given by
(3)
where H is the Hamiltonian of the system. At _{t} =O the particle field is in the vacuum state I 0), so that the prob ability amplitude to detect a particle at position r is sub sequently given by lfl(r,t) _{I}_{O}_{)}_{.} Although Eq. (3) can be explicitly solved using pertur bation theory, all of the necessary properties of the field can be deduced from wellknown and experimentally
verified phenomena. For example, once the particles have been emitted, they simply propagate at the speed of light toward the detectors, so that
(4)
where x is the distance from the source.
In addition, the
fact that the coincidence rate is negligibly small for time
offsets much larger than r2 requires that
l/foCri.t)l/fo<r2,t±l'lT) lo>=o
(l'lT»r2).
(5)
Here r1 and r2 are the locations of the detectors, which are assumed to be equidistant from the source, and lflo(r,t) denotes the field operator with the halfsilvered mirrors removed. With the mirrors inserted, the field at detector D1 is given by
(6)
(
<11.£11.T/h+¢,+
11. £11.T/h+ ,, +
2>
2>
/
;
,
,
Re= ft
]
]
(
Ro[l+
1+
e
,
where use has been made of Eq. (4) and any phase shifts associated with the halfsilvered mirrors have been included in </J1. Similarly,
l/f(r2,t) == t l/fo<r2,t)+ _{t} _{e}_{;}_{9}_{2}_{1/f}_{o}_{<}_{r}_{2} ,t _{}_{!l.}_{T}_{)}_{.}
_{(}_{7}_{)}
The coincidence rate Re between D1 and D2 with the mirrors inserted can now be calculated from
Re _{""}_{7/}_{t} _{7/}_{2}_{(}_{0} I l/f t (r1 ,t)l/f t (r2,t) l/f(r2,t) l/f(ri, t) IO) _{,}
where _{7/}_{t} and 112 are the detection efficiencies of D 1 and D2.
Making use of Eqs.
(5)(7) gives
Re= ft _{7/}_{1}_{7/}_{2}_{(}_{0} I [ _{I/I} d (ri,t) l/fd (r2, _{t}_{)}_{+} _{e} _{}_{;}_{9}_{'}_{e} ; ^{,}^{2} _{1/f} d _{C}_{r}_{1}
,t !l.T) l/fd Cr2,t !l.T) J
_{x} _{[}_{l/f}_{o}_{<}_{r}_{1} ,t )l/fo<r2,t) +/''e;921/fo(ri,t  !l.T)l/fo(r2,t _{}_{!l.}_{T}_{)} _{1} _{I} _{0}_{)}_{.}
(8)
_{(}_{9}_{)}
For a time delay !l.T « r1, the amplitude to detect a pair of particles at time _{t} _{}_{!l.}_{T} _{w}_{i}_{l}_{l} _{b}_{e} _{v}_{e}_{r}_{y} _{n}_{e}_{a}_{r}_{l}_{y} _{e}_{q}_{u}_{a}_{l} _{i}_{n} mag nitude to the amplitude to detect a pair of particles at time _{t}_{,} _{a}_{n}_{d} _{t}_{h}_{e} _{t}_{w}_{o} _{a}_{m}_{p}_{l}_{i}_{t}_{u}_{d}_{e}_{s} _{w}_{i}_{l}_{l} _{d}_{i}_{ff}_{e}_{r} _{o}_{n}_{l}_{y} _{b}_{y} _{a} _{c}_{o}_{n}_{s}_{t}_{a}_{n}_{t} phase factor. This can be shown to be the case by writing the relevant part of the field operator at time _{t} in the general form
e
i(k2r2ro2t)
.
(IO)
(11)
But conservation of energy from the initial to final states requires that
(12)
where E _{1} and E 3 are the unperturbed energies of states I/ft and _{l/f}_{3}_{,} respectively. The uncertainty !l.<.o in the sum of the frequencies is due to the finite lifetimes of I/ft and _{l/f}_{3}_{,} and is on the order of
(13)
the
uncertainty in m1+ m2 is
much less than the individual uncertainty in either ro1 _{o}_{r} m2, since the former is unaffected by the relatively short lifetime of the intermediate state 1/12· For !l.T « r1 and
!l.T«r3, Eq. (13) gives !l.m!l.T«l and Eq. (II) reduces to
(14)
Equation (14) shows that the relative phase of these two amplitudes is coherent, which gives rise to interfer ence in the coincidence rate despite the fact that the difference in path lengths is larger than the usual (first order) coherence length. Inserting Eq. (14) into Eq. (9) gives
(15)
where Ro is the coincidence rate with the halfsilvered mirrors removed and !l.E = E 1  E 3. Equation ( 15) can
be rewritten as
I
Re 4 Rocos
_{2} _{[} !l.E!l.T/h+ <Pt+ <P2 _{]}
2
= t Rocos2(cpi<PD _{,} 
(16) 
where <Pi and <Pi are defined by 



(17) 
<fJi= (cp2+!l.E!l.T/h)/2.
The quantummechanical predictions of Eq. (16) im ply that the coincidence counts in the two detectors can be either totally correlated or anticorrelated, depending on the relative settings of the two phase shifters. The form of Re in Eq. (16) is identical to that obtained in the earlier polarization experiments based upon Bell's theorem, where <Pi and <Pi correspond instead to the orientation of distant polarizers. Bell's proof that no lo cal hiddenvariable theory can be consistent with a coin cidence rate of this form is independent of the nature of the adjustable parameters <Pi and <Pi associated with the measurement apparatus. The same comments apply to the form of the inequality derived by Clauser, Horne, Shimony, and Holt, 8 which is more suitable for experi mental tests. Thus the quantummechanical predictions
violate Bell's inequality and are inconsistent with any lo cal hiddenvariable theory. An actual experiment would have to take into account the fact that Eq. (l) can only be satisfied approximately, the mechanical stability required to hold !l.T constant, and the effects of collisions and Doppler shift, all of
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VOLUME _{6}_{2}_{,} 
NUMBER _{1}_{9} PHYSICAL 
REVIEW LETTERS 
8MAY1989 

which are 
beyond the intended scope of this paper. In 
separations would thus be of interest. 

the author's opinion 
the experiment is difficult but feasi 
The author is grateful to J. S. Bell, _{L}_{.} Mandel, and A. 

ble. 
Shimony 
for their 
comments on the manuscript. This 

The nonlocal 
results obtained above are clearly depen 
work was 
funded 
in part by the Office 
of Naval 

dent 
on interference between the probability amplitudes 
Research. 

for 
the pair 
of particles to have been emitted at 
two 

different times 
and demonstrate that the times 
of emis 

sion cannot 
be thought of as being well determined by a 

local hiddenvariable theory. Similar comments apply to the positions of the particles. Thus the uncertainties in 
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larger may be 
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