The conventionality of parastatistics

David John Baker, Hans Halvorson, Noel Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Nature seems to be such that we can describe it accurately with quantum theories of bosons and fermions alone, without resort to parastatistics. This has been seen as a deep mystery: paraparticlesmake perfect physical sense, so why don't we see themin nature?We consider one potential answer: every paraparticle theory is physically equivalent to some theory of bosons or fermions,making the absence of paraparticles in our theories amatter of convention rather than amysterious empirical discovery.Weargue that this equivalence thesisholds in all physically admissible quantum field theories falling under the domain of the rigorous Doplicher-Haag-Roberts approach to superselection rules. Inadmissible parastatistical theories are ruled out by a locality-inspired principle we call charge recombination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-976
Number of pages48
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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