Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare - Sezione di Trieste

Theoretical and experimental aspects
of the spin-statistics connection and related symmetries, Trieste, Italy - October 21-25, 2008 - Stazione Marittima Conference Center

Program outline

The workshop will focus on experimental and theoretical aspects of the spin-statistics connection and of related symmetries (in particular the CPT and the Lorentz symmetries).
One important consequence of the spin-statistics connection the well-known Pauli Exclusion Principle (PEP) which plays a pivotal role in our understanding of countless physical and chemical phenomena that range from the periodic table of the elements to the dynamics of white dwarfs and neutron stars. Its foundations lie deep in the structure of quantum field theory and it has been spectacularly confirmed by the number and accuracy of its predictions, but up till now it has defied all attempts to produce a simple, intuitive proof. Pauli himself, in his Nobel prize lecture, remarked that already in my original paper I stressed the circumstance that I was unable to give a logical reason for the exclusion principle or to deduce it from more general assumption. I had the feeling and I still have it today, that this is a deficiency. The impression that the shadow of some incompleteness fell here on the bright light of success of the new quantum mechanics seems to me unavoidable. Pauli's conclusion is still basically true today.

On the theoretical side, several theorists explore theories - such as parastatistics, quon-theory, existence of hidden dimensions, a new spin-statistics connection in the framework of quantum gravity, etc. - which may allow tiny violations of PEP.
Because of the basic standing of the Pauli Exclusion Principle in quantum theory and motivated by these alternative theoretical approaches, many experimentalists carry out precise tests of the validity of PEP: indeed in the last years several experiments (atomic, nuclear, particle physics) have been performed to search for possible small violations. Thus new limits have recently been obtained for the validity of PEP for nuclei, nucleons and electrons, and will be discussed during the Workshop, for the first time in a single framework, together with theoretical implications and future perspectives.

The Workshop's aim is to realize a "constructive interference" between theorists and experimentalists towards possible new concepts of nuclear and particle physics tests of spin-statistics connection (PEP in particular) and in the interpretation of previous results. Implications of PEP and PEP violation in other sectors of Modern Physics will also be explored.

The Workshop's items are fundamental in all areas of physics, in much of chemistry and astrophysics. The conference will bring together experimentalists and theorists, to survey the work done during the past years that challenges the traditional views of these issues and to put forward new possible experimental tests, as well as new theoretical frameworks. The workshop will also explore connections with rapidly developing fields such as other fundamental symmetries, supersymmetry and quantum gravity.

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