CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories

Erkenntnis 78 (4):797-821 (2013)
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Abstract

CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection are typically taken to be essential properties in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), insofar as the CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems entail that any state of a physical system characterized by an RQFT must possess these properties. Moreover, in the physics literature, they are typically taken to be properties of particles. But there is a Received View among philosophers that RQFTs cannot fundamentally be about particles. This essay considers what proofs of the CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems suggest about the ontology of RQFTs, and the extent to which this is compatible with the Received View. I will argue that such proofs suggest the Received View’s approach to ontology is flawed

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Jonathan Bain
New York University

References found in this work

Interpreting Quantum Theories: The Art of the Possible.Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Taking particle physics seriously: A critique of the algebraic approach to quantum field theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
The fate of 'particles' in quantum field theories with interactions.Doreen Fraser - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):841-859.

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