Causality and Intervention in the Spin-Echo Experiments

Fernanda Samaniego Bañuelos

Abstract


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.

Keywords


causality, irreversibility, interventionism, and explanatory depth.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/theoria.6136