ARTICLES

Selected Articles (annotated)

Selected Articles
annotated

For a complete list of publications see the CV

PHYSICS

1. (1990) On some neglected thermodynamic peculiarities of quantum non-locality. Foundations of Physics Letters, 3, 525-541.  PDF

My first article in quantum mechanics. Admittedly too verbose, no math. And yet, it's the first to raise a fundamental question never considered before: Suppose the relativistic prohibition against faster-than-light velocities didn't exist, would the EPR experiment cease to be strange? It turns out that some other oddities exist in the EPR that has not been noticed so far!

 

2.  (1992) (Elitzur, A.C., Popescu, S., & Rohrlich, D.) Quantum nonlocality for each pair in an ensemble. Physics Letters, A162, 25-28.    Online

Who wrote the EPR article? Well, there is an article extending the EPR proof whose authors are…

 

3. (1992) Locality and indeterminism preserve the second law. Physics Letters, A167, 335-340. 

Three prohibitions of physics, namely, i) the relativistic prohibition on superluminal velocities, ii) the quantum mechanical prohibition on predictability, and iii) the thermodynamic prohibition on spontaneous entropy decrease, are dictated by different branches of physics, yet they are mysteriously related: Transgressing one of them entails transgressing the two others!

 

4. (1993) (Elitzur, A.C., & Vaidman, L.) Quantum mechanical interaction-free measurements. Foundations of Physics, 23, 987-997.  [Online]

The notorious bomb-testing experiment, to which Penrose has made such nice PR in his books, and eventually carried out By Zeilinger.

Suppose you have a stack of super-sensitive bombs, each of them so sensitive that a single photon suffices to detonate it. Yet some of them are no longer operable. How can you test them without losing any?

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only experiment in the history of physics that makes one smile.

 

5. (1999) (Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S.) Black hole evaporation entails an objective passage of time. Foundations of Physics Letters, 12, 309-323.  [Online]  

Fancy catching Hawking in self-contradiction. Few years later Hawking abandoned his information-loss paradox, thereby escaping the contradiction we pointed out. We do not know whether he has read our paper or was influenced by it in any other way. Still, we find his convoluted "resolution" of his own paradox much less convincing than the simple paradox itself. Time-asymmetry may be independent of initial conditions, despite Hawking’s recanting.

 

6. (2001) (Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S.) Nonlocal effects of partial measurements and quantum erasure. Physical Review, A63, 062109-1—062109-14. [Online]

A new variant of the EPR experiment. You perform only a partial measurement on one particle – the other is partially affected, hence the two particles remain entangled, and may keep "talking" with one another. You erase the result of one particle's partial measurement, and the result is instantaneously erased in the other particle. Erasure, just like measurement, exerts non-local effects!

 

7. (2006) (Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S) Multiple interaction-free measurement as a challenge to the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics. In Sheehan, D. [Ed.] Frontiers of Time: Retrocausation – Experiment and Theory. AIP Conference Proceedings, 863, 27-44.   [Online

A review and summary of our quantum mechanical works that yielded several surprising predictions.

Note especially the Quantum Liar Paradox! Unlike other quantum-mechanical paradoxes (EPR, Schrödinger's cat, etc.), which point out contradictions between QM and relativity or Newtonian physics, this paradox presents a feasible experiment in which the results contradict ordinary logic.

 

8. (2005) (Elitzur, A.C., & Dolev, S.) Becoming as a bridge between quantum mechanics and relativity. In Saniga, M., Buccheri, R., and Elitzur, A.C. (Editors) Endophysics, Time, Quantum and the Subjective, 589-606. London: World Scientific. [Online]

Another summary of our quantum mechanical experiments, plus a hypothesis about the way relativity and quantum mechanics may naturally merge into something much greater.

 

9. (2006) (Scolnik, Y., Portnaya, I., Cogan, U., Tal, S., Haimovitz, R., Fridkin, M., Elitzur, A.C., Deamer, D.W., and Shinitzky, M.) Subtle differences in structural transitions between poly L- and poly D- amino acids of equal length in water. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 8, 333-339 (“Hot Paper”). PDF

This paper was rejected off-hand by four journals before being published. Since then other experiments give further evidence to what seemed to be impossible: Nature discriminates between left and right even at the molecular level!

 

10. (2009) (Sela, O., Tamir, B., Dolev, S., & Elitzur, A. C.) Can special relativity be derived from Galilean mechanics alone? Foundations of Physics, 39, 499-509.   [Online]

Fancy a high-school boy named Or (Hebrew: "light") who is so conversant in relativity theory that he became first author of this radical paper on the foundations of special relativity. Other papers on general relativity are to follow.

 

11. (2009) Markovich, S., & Elitzur, A.C. Aharonov-Bohm effects under causality restrictions. Invited paper, to be read at the workshop “50 Years of the Aharonov-Bohm Effect: Concepts and  Applications.” Tel-Aviv, October 11-14, 2009.  [Online]

The Aharonov-Bohm effect, discovered in 1959, is one of quantum mechanics’ most intriguing products, involving an electric current’s influence outside the region it is supposed to exert it. We study an apparent faster-than-light effect which seems to follow from the AB effect. The paradox’s resolution is based on a complimentary phenomenon, the Aharonov-Casher effect, discovered in 1984. The latter effect is thus re-derived from the former by causality considerations.

 

12. (2009) (Fanchon, E., Neori, K-H., & Elitzur, A.C.) What does Maxwell's demon select, and how? Preprint. [Online]

You would expect that, during the 150 years or so since the inception of Maxwell's demon paradox, all the interesting questions related to it have already been asked. Well, we now raise two questions which have not been considered so far. The answers seem to be nontrivial as well.

 

13. Undoing quantum measurement poses new restrictions on hidden variables. Preprint. [Online]

Hidden variables are for quantum mechanics what the ether was for pre-relativistic physics: No one can prove they exist yet many physicists can't think about quantum phenomena without them. If (and it’s still an if) this paper’s reasoning is correct, hidden variables may be disproved once and for all!

 

BIOLOGY

1. (1994) Let there be life: Thermodynamic reflections on biogenesis and evolution. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 168, 429-459.  Abs.

My first paper on evolution. It elicited the most abusive article I ever read, by H. Yockey, to which I replied, more politely. In retrospect I am grateful to the man for pointing out some essential errors in my thinking, which I believe were corrected since.

 

2. (1997) Constancy, uniformity and symmetry of living systems: The computational function of morphological invariance. Invited paper. Biosystems, 43, 41-53. [Online]

A more mature biological paper. Why do symmetry and other forms of invariance prevail over all life's kingdoms?

 

3. (2005) When form outlasts its medium: A definition of life integrating Platonism and thermodynamics. Invited paper. In Seckbach, J. (Editor) Life as We Know it. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 607-620. [Online]

Remember Plato’s insight about the primacy of form over the matter in which it is embedded? Surprisingly, the living organism seem to manifest this very idea! And thermodynamics seems to offer further support for this characterization of life.

 

4. (2009) (Gordon, G., & Elitzur, A.C.) The ski-lift pathway: Thermodynamically unique, biologically ubiquitous. Preprint.

My former high-school student, now doing his second PhD, co-authored with me this ambitions paper.

The paper is still under revisions. So here is the abstract and PPT: [Online]

 

PSYCHOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS

1. (2001) (Omer, H., & Elitzur, A. C.) What would you say to the person on the roof? A suicide prevention text. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 31, 129-139.  [Online]

One of this paper's referees said it was going to open a new genre in suicide prevention. Indeed it has: See the comments it has elicited.

So far, this text is available in Hebrew, English, Russian and Hungarian. Other translations would be most welcome!

 

2. (2009) Consciousness makes a difference: A reluctant dualist’s confession. In Batthyany, A., & Elitzur, A. C. (Editors) Irreducibly Conscious: Alternatives to Reductionist Accounts of Mind. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. [Online]

I am no dualist. But in this article I present a perverse yet strong argument in favor of dualism. Chalmers, the main target of my sardonic criticism, did not reply so far.

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