Berlin 2014 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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AGPhil: Arbeitsgruppe Philosophie der Physik

AGPhil 6: Quantum-Classical Divide IV

AGPhil 6.5: Vortrag

Freitag, 21. März 2014, 12:45–13:15, SPA SR22

The Internal/External Distinction in the Light of Supersymmetry — •Radin Dardashti — Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Munich, Germany

Several physicists in the 1960s tried to combine internal symmetries with external or spacetime symmetries in a non-trivial way leading to many theorems culminating in the famous Coleman-Mandula theorem of 1967. The theorem proves the impossibility, under certain physical and mathematical assumptions, of combining internal and spacetime symmetries in any but the trivial way, i.e. as a direct product. However, allowing for spinorial generators one can generalize the theorem (Haag-Lopuszanski-Sohnius theorem) leading to Supersymmetry as the only possible extension of the algebra. Although the result is mathematically clear one finds many differing statements regarding the interpretation and consequence of this result for the relation between internal and external symmetries.

We will discuss both the historical and conceptual issues involved in the discussion of the internal/external distinction in the light of supersymmetry and its relevance for the philosophy of physics literature on symmetry.

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