Homer Nodded: Von Neumann’s Surprising Oversight

  title={Homer Nodded: Von Neumann’s Surprising Oversight},
  author={N. David Mermin and R{\"u}diger Schack},
  journal={Foundations of Physics},
We review the famous no-hidden-variables theorem in von Neumann’s 1932 book on the mathematical foundations of quantum mechanics (Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik, Springer, Berlin, 1932). We describe the notorious gap in von Neumann’s argument, pointed out by Hermann (Abhandlungen der Fries’schen Schule 6:75–152, 1935) and, more famously, by Bell (Rev Modern Phys 38:447–452, 1966). We disagree with recent papers claiming that Hermann and Bell failed to understand what von Neumann… 

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