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Broken Symmetry and Spacetime

Baker, David John (2010) Broken Symmetry and Spacetime. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    The phenomenon of broken spacetime symmetry in the quantum theory of infinite systems seems to point toward an unorthodox ontology. The standard conception of the physical meaning of these symmetries, as changes in coordinates, conflicts with the apparent physical inequivalence of symmetry-related states. I argue that this apparent conflict is an artifact a subtle error in the extant account of physical equivalence due to Halvorson and Clifton.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.
    Keywords: quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics, spontaneous symmetry breaking, spacetime symmetries, Leibniz equivalence, substantivalism, relationism
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
    Depositing User: David Baker
    Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2010 09:21
    Last Modified: 31 Oct 2010 09:21
    Item ID: 8362
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8362

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