Testing Bell’s Inequality with Cosmic Photons: Closing the Setting-Independence Loophole

Jason Gallicchio, Andrew S. Friedman, and David I. Kaiser

Physical Review Letters 112 (2014) 195


We propose a practical scheme to use photons from causally disconnected cosmic sources to set the detectors in an experimental test of Bell’s inequality. In current experiments, with settings determined by quantum random number generators, only a small amount of correlation between detector settings and local hidden variables, established less than a millisecond before each experiment, would suffice to mimic the predictions of quantum mechanics. By setting the detectors using pairs of quasars or patches of the cosmic microwave background, observed violations of Bell’s inequality would require any such coordination to have existed for billions of years—an improvement of 20 orders of magnitude.