Nonlocality is one of the most uncommon features of the quantum world. This 'spooky action at a distance' signifies a kind of instant interaction between places separated by space. This paper deals with a history of this notion and tries to answer the question of how and when this notion appeared as well as what were the factors of its evolution. The main source of information about this subject-matter is the history of science. In the paper the most important episodes concerning nonlocality are presented, excluding the Bell's Theorem (1964), which proves nonlocal behavior of quantum objects and opens completely new period in the history of science. First, Newton's gravitational action at a distance is discussed. Afterwards, the problem of nonlocal interactions in quantum mechanics is sketched; special attention is paid to the EPR paradox. Finally, the interpretative disputes about nonlocality in the years preceding the Bell's Theorem are presented.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.