David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):27-50 (2010)
The CPT theorem of quantum field theory states that any relativistic (Lorentz-invariant) quantum field theory must also be invariant under CPT, the composition of charge conjugation, parity reversal and time reversal. This paper sketches a puzzle that seems to arise when one puts the existence of this sort of theorem alongside a standard way of thinking about symmetries, according to which spacetime symmetries (at any rate) are associated with features of the spacetime structure. The puzzle is, roughly, that the existence of a CPT theorem seems to show that it is not possible for a well-formulated theory that does not make use of a preferred frame or foliation to make use of a temporal orientation. Since a manifold with only a Lorentzian metric can be temporally orientable—capable of admitting a temporal orientation—this seems to be an odd sort of necessary connection between distinct existences. The paper then suggests a solution to the puzzle: it is suggested that the CPT theorem arises because temporal orientation is unlike other pieces of spacetime structure, in that one cannot represent it by a tensor field. To avoid irrelevant technical details, the discussion is carried out in the setting of classical field theory, using a little-known classical analog of the CPT theorem
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hilary Greaves & Teruji Thomas (2014). On the CPT Theorem. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45 (1):46-65.
Similar books and articles
Jonathan Bain (2010). Relativity and Quantum Field Theory. In V. Petkov (ed.), Space, Time and Spacetime.
John Earman & Doreen Fraser (2006). Haag's Theorem and its Implications for the Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. Erkenntnis 64 (3):305 - 344.
Jonathan Bain (2013). CPT Invariance, the Spin-Statistics Connection, and the Ontology of Relativistic Quantum Field Theories. Erkenntnis 78 (4):797-821.
Frank Arntzenius & Hilary Greaves (2009). Time Reversal in Classical Electromagnetism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):557-584.
Hilary Greaves (2010). Towards a Geometrical Understanding of the CPT Theorem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):27-50.
Added to index2009-04-21
Total downloads39 ( #104,327 of 1,796,306 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #55,257 of 1,796,306 )
How can I increase my downloads?