CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection

Hardcover | May 7, 2016

byJonathan Bain

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This book seeks to answer the question "What explains CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection?" These properties play foundational roles in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), are supported by high-precision experiments, and figure into explanations of a wide range ofphenomena, from antimatter, to the periodic table of the elements, to superconductors and superfluids. They can be derived in RQFTs by means of the famous CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems; but, the author argues, these theorems cannot be said to explain these properties, at least under standardphilosophical accounts of scientific explanation. This is because there are multiple, in some cases incompatible, ways of deriving these theorems, and, secondly, because the theorems fail for the types of theories that underwrite the empirical evidence: non-relativistic quantum theories, andrealistic interacting RQFTs. The goal of this book is to work towards an understanding of CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection by first providing an analysis of the necessary and sufficient conditions for these properties, and second by advocating a particular account of explanation appropriate for thiscontext.

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From the Publisher

This book seeks to answer the question "What explains CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection?" These properties play foundational roles in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), are supported by high-precision experiments, and figure into explanations of a wide range ofphenomena, from antimatter, to the periodic table...

Jonathan Bain is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York University. He received his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include philosophy of spacetime, scientific realism, and philosophy of quantum field theory.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pagesPublished:May 7, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728808

ISBN - 13:9780198728801

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. The CPT and Spin-Statistics Theorems in Relativistic Quantum Field Theories3. The Role of Relativity in the CPT and Spin-Statistics Theorems4. CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection in Non-Relativistic Quantum Field Theories5. Non-RQFT Derivations of CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection6. What Explains CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection?7. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Firmly grounded in physics, but never hesitating to question conventional wisdom, Bain pushes the frontier of philosophy into the realm of our most fundamental quantum theories. This book is both a thorough introduction to the growing philosophical literature on CPT, and a valuable newcontribution to that same literature. It is also a sobering reminder that, beyond the classic debates about the nature of quantum theory, new and largely unexplored mysteries abound." --David John Baker, University of Michigan