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The Physics and the Philosophy of Time Reversal in Standard Quantum Mechanics

Lopez, Cristian (2021) The Physics and the Philosophy of Time Reversal in Standard Quantum Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A widespread view in physics holds that the implementation of time reversal in standard quantum mechanics must be given by an anti-unitary operator. In foundations and philosophy of physics, however, there has been some discussion about the conceptual grounds of this orthodoxy, largely relying on either its obviousness or its mathematical-physical virtues. My aim in this paper is to substantively change the traditional structure of the debate by highlighting the philosophical commitments underlying the orthodoxy. I argue the persuasive force of the orthodoxy greatly depends on a relationalist metaphysics of time and a by-stipulation view of time-reversal invariance. Only with such philosophical background can the orthodoxy of time reversal in standard quantum mechanics succeed and be properly justified.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lopez, Cristianlopez.cristian1987@gmail.com0000-0002-2883-4037
Keywords: quantum mechanics, time reversal, anti-unitarity, relationalism, symmetry
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Dr Cristian Lopez
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2021 04:33
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2021 04:33
Item ID: 19589
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 1 September 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19589

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