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Broken Symmetry and Spacetime

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

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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
Baker, David
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 13:21
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2010 13:21
Item ID: 8362

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