Stochastic optics: A local realistic analysis of optical tests of Bell inequalities
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Stochastic optics may be considered as simply a local realistic interpretation of quantum optics and, in this sense, it is a first step in the reinterpretation of the whole of quantum theory. However, as it is not possible to interpret all the details of quantum theory in a local realistic manner, as shown by Bell’s theorem, minor changes are introduced in the formalism with the consequence that the new theory makes different predictions in some special cases. In stochastic optics, the quantum-operator formalism is simply considered a formal way of dealing with stochastic fields. In particular, the quantum zero point is taken as a real random electromagnetic radiation filling the whole of space. This radiation noise has the same nature as light signals, the only difference being the greater intensity of the latter. We assume that photon detectors have an intensity threshold just above the level of the noise, thus detecting only signals. Transmission of radiation through polarizers follows Malus’s law, but the interplay of signal and noise leads quite naturally to the prediction that the detection probability of some signals is enhanced, which is known to be a necessary condition for the violation of the empirically tested Bell inequalities. In our view, correlated photon pairs are pairs of light signals supercorrelated in polarization, in the sense that, as well as the signal, the accompanying noise is also correlated. Thus stochastic optics allows predictions for the empirical correlations very close, but not identical, to the quantum ones. The theory is applied to the analysis of all experiments designed to test the Bell inequalities by measuring polarization correlations of photon pairs. The predictions agree with quantum optics and experiments within statistical errors, except for the Holt-Pipkin experiment. In this case, the experimental results agree with stochastic optical predictions within two standard deviations while violating quantum optics by four.
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