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Superselection Rules for Philosophers

Erkenntnis 69 (3):377-414 (2008)

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  1. Antimatter.David Baker & Hans Halvorson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):93-121.
    Next SectionThe nature of antimatter is examined in the context of algebraic quantum field theory. It is shown that the notion of antimatter is more general than that of antiparticles. Properly speaking, then, antimatter is not matter made up of antiparticles—rather, antiparticles are particles made up of antimatter. We go on to discuss whether the notion of antimatter is itself completely general in quantum field theory. Does the matter–antimatter distinction apply to all field theoretic systems? The answer depends on which (...)
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  • Some Puzzles and Unresolved Issues About Quantum Entanglement.John Earman - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):303-337.
    Schrödinger averred that entanglement is the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics. The first part of this paper is simultaneously an exploration of Schrödinger’s claim and an investigation into the distinction between mere entanglement and genuine quantum entanglement. The typical discussion of these matters in the philosophical literature neglects the structure of the algebra of observables, implicitly assuming a tensor product structure of the simple Type I factor algebras used in ordinary Quantum Mechanics . This limitation is overcome by adopting the (...)
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  • Primitive Ontology and Quantum Field Theory.Vincent Lam - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):387-397.
    Primitive ontology is a recently much discussed approach to the ontology of quantum theory according to which the theory is ultimately about entities in 3-dimensional space and their temporal evolution. This paper critically discusses the primitive ontologies that have been suggested within the Bohmian approach to quantum field theory in the light of the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations. These primitive ontologies rely either on a Fock space representation or a wave functional representation, which are strictly speaking unambiguously available only (...)
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  • Unitary Inequivalence in Classical Systems.Benjamin Feintzeig - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    Ruetsche argues that a problem of unitarily inequivalent representations arises in quantum theories with infinitely many degrees of freedom. I provide an algebraic formulation of classical field theories and show that unitarily inequivalent representations arise there as well. I argue that the classical case helps us rule out one possible response to the problem of unitarily inequivalent representations called Hilbert Space Conservatism.
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  • Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
    In this essay, I provide an overview of the debate on infinite and essential idealizations in physics. I will first present two ostensible examples: phase transitions and the Aharonov– Bohm effect. Then, I will describe the literature on the topic as a debate between two positions: Essentialists claim that idealizations are essential or indispensable for scientific accounts of certain physical phenomena, while dispensabilists maintain that idealizations are dispensable from mature scientific theory. I will also identify some attempts at finding a (...)
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  • Quantum Jumps, Superpositions, and the Continuous Evolution of Quantum States.Rainer Dick - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 57:115-125.
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