Fr.: variable caché
A theory based on the hypothesis that the discrepancies with respect to classical reality found in → quantum mechanics stem from our lack of knowledge about the observed system (→ EPR paradox). According to this hypothesis, the system should be described by additional quantum parameters, of still unknown nature, but different from position, velocity, spin, etc. The hidden variable theory has been ruled out by the violation of → Bell's inequality for all theories with local property, as suggested by the → Aspect experiment.