The fate of 'particles' in quantum field theories with interactions

Most philosophical discussion of the particle concept that is afforded by quantum field theory has focused on free systems. This paper is devoted to a systematic investigation of whether the particle concept for free systems can be extended to interacting systems. The possible methods of accomplishing this are considered and all are found unsatisfactory. Therefore, an interacting system cannot be interpreted in terms of particles. As a consequence, quantum field theory does not support the inclusion of particles in our ontology. In contrast to much of the recent discussion on the particle concept derived from quantum field theory, this argument does not rely on the assumption that a particulate entity be localizable.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2008.05.003
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,890
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Laura Ruetsche (2002). Interpreting Quantum Field Theory. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):348-378.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
David Baker (2009). Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
Stephen J. Summers (2009). Subsystems and Independence in Relativistic Microscopic Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (2):133-141.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

136 ( #14,443 of 1,725,310 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

9 ( #72,298 of 1,725,310 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.