, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 455–457 | Cite as

What, if anything, does quantum field theory explain?

Jonathan Bain: CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 208 pp, $84.95 HB
  • Michael E. Miller
Book Review

Fundamental particle physics aims to describe systems that exhibit the following two remarkable properties. First, they are invariant under the combined transformation of charge conjugation (C), spatial inversion (P), and time reversal (T): They are CPT invariant. Second, systems exhibiting Fermi–Dirac statistics have half-integer spin and systems exhibiting Bose–Einstein statistics have integer spin: The systems obey the spin-statistics connection. CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection are empirically well-confirmed properties of systems of fundamental particles, and the received wisdom is that these features of the world can be explained by deriving them from the principles of relativistic quantum field theory. The derivations are referred to the CPT theorem and the spin-statistics theorem, respectively.

In CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection, Jonathan Bain challenges this received wisdom and argues that in fact, we do not have an entirely adequate...


  1. Greenberg, O.W. 2002. CPT violation implies violation of Lorentz invariance. Physical Review Letters 89: 231602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Weatherall, J.O. 2011. On (some) explanations in physics. Philosophy of Science 78 (3): 421–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations