This book seeks to answer the question "What explains CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection?" These properties play foundational roles in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), are supported by high-precision experiments, and figure into explanations of a wide range of phenomena, from antimatter, to the periodic table of the elements, to superconductors and superfluids. They can be derived in RQFTs by means of the famous CPT and Spin-Statistics
theorems; but, the author argues, these theorems cannot be said to explain these properties, at least under standard philosophical accounts of scientific explanation. This is because there are multiple, in some cases incompatible, ways of deriving these theorems, and, secondly, because the theorems
fail for the types of theories that underwrite the empirical evidence: non-relativistic quantum theories, and realistic interacting RQFTs. The goal of this book is to work towards an understanding of CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection by first providing an analysis of the necessary and sufficient conditions for these properties, and second by advocating a particular account of explanation appropriate for this context.
Jonathan Bain is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York University. He received his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include philosophy of spacetime, scientific realism, and philosophy of quantum field theory.