“smeared out” across spacetime

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Does “smeared out” mean "spread over" here?

The only alternative left for those holding on to the current paradigm is to postulate some form of non-locality: nature must have—or so they speculate—observation-independent hidden properties, entirely missed by QM, which are “smeared out” across spacetime. It is this allegedly omnipresent, invisible but objective background that supposedly orchestrates entanglement from “behind the scenes.”

-Scientific American

  • PaulQ

    English - England
    “Smeared out” means "spread out very thinly". It also has a nuance of being somewhat vague or indefinite in its boundaries.

    If you imagine pressing your finger into butter and then rubbing your finger on a window, then the butter will smear the glass/be smeared on the glass.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    A bit more than that. Galaxies are spread out across spacetime, but in a nice orderly way in the geometry we understand. Hidden variables under QM have to have simultaneous effects in different places, so they can't be just a bit here, then another bit there, they must be 'smeared', messy.

    cross-posted, not disagreeing
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