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Causality and Intervention in the Spin-Echo Experiments

Samaniego Bañuelos, Fernanda (2013) Causality and Intervention in the Spin-Echo Experiments. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 28 (3). pp. 477-497. ISSN 2171-679X

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In the so-called “Spin-Echo Experiments” the behaviour of a spin’s system seems to violate the second law of thermodynamics. For this reason the “Spin-Echo Experiments” are considered of particular interest for the Foundations of Physics. Interventionists have provided a classical explanation (Blatt, 1959; Ridderbos & Redhead, 1998) and a quantum-based explanation (Hemmo & Shenker, 2005) of these experiments. Here both interventionist explanations are assessed by means of the Manipulability Theory of Causal Explanation (Woodward, 2003). It is argued that interventionism would gain explanatory depth by providing functional relations and predicting relaxation times.

En los llamados “experimentos espín-eco” el comportamiento del sistema de espines parece violar la segunda ley de la termodinámica. Por esta razón, los “experimentos espín-eco” son considerados de gran interés en Fundamentos de la Física. Los intervencionistas han ofrecido explicaciones clásicas (Blatt 1959; Ridderbos & Redhead 1998) y explicaciones basadas en mecánica cuántica (Hemmo & Shenker 2005) de dichos experimentos. Aquí ambas explicaciones intervencionistas son analizadas mediante la Teoría Manipulabilista de las Explicaciones Causales (Woodward 2003). Se argumenta que el intervencionismo ganaría profun
didad explicativa si proporcionara relaciones funcionales y realizara predicciones de los tiempos de relajación

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Samaniego Bañuelos, Fernanda
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: causality, irreversibility, interventionism, and explanatory depth, causalidad, irreversibilidad, intervencionismo, profundidad explicativa
Depositing User: Mr John H Barnett
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2013 20:01
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2013 21:01
Item ID: 10135
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Date: July 2013
Page Range: pp. 477-497
Volume: 28
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X

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