Causality and Intervention in the Spin-Echo Experiments

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 28, Issue: 3, Page: 477-497

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Samaniego Bañuelos, Fernanda
UPV/EHU Press; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Arts and Humanities
article description
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.