Localization and the interface between quantum mechanics, quantum field theory and quantum gravity I

It is shown that there are significant conceptual differences between QM and QFT which make it difficult to view the latter as just a relativistic extension of the principles of QM. At the root of this is a fundamental distiction between Born-localization in QM (which in the relativistic context changes its name to Newton–Wigner localization) and modular localization which is the localization underlying QFT, after one separates it from its standard presentation in terms of field coordinates. The first comes with a probability notion and projection operators, whereas the latter describes causal propagation in QFT and leads to thermal aspects of locally reduced finite energy states. The Born–Newton–Wigner localization in QFT is only applicable asymptotically and the covariant correlation between asymptotic in and out localization projectors is the basis of the existence of an invariant scattering matrix. In this first part of a two part essay the modular localization (the intrinsic content of field localization) and its philosophical consequences take the center stage. Important physical consequences of vacuum polarization will be the main topic of part II. The present division into two semi-autonomous essays is the result of a partition and extension of an originally one-part manuscript.
Keywords Quantum Mechanics  Quantum Field Theory  Local quantum physics  direct particle interactions  Born–Newton–Wigner localization  Modular localization  Entanglement  Localization entropy  Holography  Curved space time
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2010.03.003
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References found in this work BETA
Doreen Fraser (2008). The Fate of 'Particles' in Quantum Field Theories with Interactions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (4):841-859.

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Citations of this work BETA
Bert Schroer (2015). Modular Localization and the Holistic Structure of Causal Quantum Theory, a Historical Perspective. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 49:109-147.

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