Uniform TitleSpacetime symmetries and the CPT theorem
NameGreaves, Hilary (author), Arntzenius, Frank (chair), Maudlin, Tim (internal member), Loewer, Barry (internal member), Albert, David (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Space and time
DescriptionThis dissertation explores several issues related to the CPT theorem.
Chapter 2 explores the meaning of spacetime symmetries in general and time reversal in particular. It is proposed that a third conception of time reversal, 'geometric time reversal', is more appropriate for certain theoretical purposes than the existing 'active' and 'passive' conceptions. It is argued that, in the case of classical electromagnetism, a particular nonstandard time reversal operation is at least as defensible as the standard view. This unorthodox time reversal operation is of interest because it is the classical counterpart of a view according to which the so-called 'CPT theorem' of quantum field theory is better called 'PT theorem'; on this view, a puzzle about how an operation as apparently non-spatio-temporal as charge conjugation can be linked to spacetime symmetries in as intimate a way as a CPT theorem would seem to suggest dissolves.
In chapter 3, we turn to the question of whether the CPT theorem is an essentially quantum-theoretic result. We state and prove a classical analogue of the CPT theorem for systems of tensor fields. This classical analogue, however, appears not to extend to systems of spinor fields. The intriguing answer to our question thus appears to be that the CPT theorem for spinors is essentially quantum-theoretic, but that the CPT theorem for tensor fields applies equally to the classical and quantum cases.
Chapter4 explores a puzzle that arises when one puts the CPT theorem alongside a standard way of understanding spacetime symmetries, according to which (latter) spacetime symmetries are to be understood in terms of background spacetime structure. The puzzle is that a 'PT theorem' amounts to a statement that the theory may not make essential use of a preferred direction of time, and this seems odd. We propose a solution to that puzzle for the case of tensor field theories.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 102).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.