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Summary Quantum field theory (QFT) is the framework of elementary particle physics; it is, in a nutshell, a mathematical framework in which one does quantum mechanics on fields. The metaphysical implications of quantum field theory are of particular interest to philosophers, and in the current literature there are two mainstream opposing views regarding the correct ontology of quantum field theory. According to one, the correct ontology of quantum field theory consists of point particles only, they are real, and fundamental, and fields are not. The other view claims that particles cannot exist, only fields. Also of interest to philosophers are the issues posed by effective field theories and renormalization theory; some philosophers reject conventional quantum field theory and argue for a new axiomatization of quantum field theory. 
Key works In the "fields-only" interpretation of QFT camp are Malament 1996, Fraser 2008, and Hobson 2012; Baker 2009 argues that neither the fields-only or particles-only ontologies are tenable. Wallace 2011 contains a summary and critique of the debate over whether we should adopt conventional or axiomatic quantum field theories in response to the issues posed by renormalization theory and effective field theories. 
Introductions The Stanford Encyclopedia article on Quantum Field Theory is an excellent introduction to the philosophical issues.  Zee's Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell is a lucid introduction to the physics and mathematics of quantum field theory, and Peskin and Schroeder's Introduction to Quantum Field Theory is the canonical QFT textbook used by physicists. 
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  1. added 2020-05-11
    Renormalization Scrutinized.Sébastien Rivat - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 68:23-39.
    In this paper, I propose a general framework for understanding renormalization by drawing on the distinction between effective and continuum Quantum Field Theories (QFTs), and offer a comprehensive account of perturbative renormalization on this basis. My central claim is that the effective approach to renormalization provides a more physically perspicuous, conceptually coherent and widely applicable framework to construct perturbative QFTs than the continuum approach. I also show how a careful comparison between the two approaches: (i) helps to dispel the mystery (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-27
    The Mechanism Behind Probability.Sydney Ernest Grimm - manuscript
    Changes within observable reality at the lowest level of reality seem to occur in accordance with the probability theory in mathematics. It is quite remarkable that nature itself has chosen the probability theory to arrange all the changes within the structure of the basic quantum fields. This rises a question about the distribution of properties in space and time.
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  3. added 2020-04-18
    Quanta Transfer in Quantized Space.Sydney Ernest Grimm - manuscript
    Physical phenomena emerge from the quantum fields everywhere in space. However, not only the phenomena emerge from the quantum fields, the law of the conservation of energy must have its origin from the same spatial structure. This paper describes the relations between the main law of physics, the universal constants and the mathematical structure of the “aggregated” quantum fields.
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  4. added 2020-03-16
    Particle or Wave: The Evolution of the Concept of Matter in Modern Physics.Charis Anastopoulos - 2008 - Princeton University Press.
    'Particle or Wave' explains the origins and development of modern physical concepts about matter and the controversies surrounding them.
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  5. added 2020-02-12
    How Is Quantum Field Theory Possible?M. Redhead - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):499-507.
  6. added 2020-01-16
    Reduction and Emergence in Science and Philosophy By Carl Gillett Cambridge University Press, 2016. 389pp., £52.99 ISBN: 9781107075351. [REVIEW]Karen Crowther - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (4):586-590.
  7. added 2019-12-05
    Fakeons, Quantum Gravity and the Correspondence Principle.Damiano Anselmi - manuscript
    The correspondence principle made of unitarity, locality and renormalizability has been very successful in quantum field theory. Among the other things, it helped us build the standard model. However, it also showed important limitations. For example, it failed to restrict the gauge group and the matter sector in a powerful way. After discussing its effectiveness, we upgrade it to make room for quantum gravity. The unitarity assumption is better understood, since it allows for the presence of physical particles as well (...)
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  8. added 2019-11-17
    On the Nature of the Higgs Boson.Damiano Anselmi - 2019 - Mod. Phys. Lett. A 34.
    Several particles are not observed directly, but only through their decay products. We consider the possibility that they might be fakeons, i.e. fake particles, which mediate interactions but are not asymptotic states. A crucial role to determine the true nature of a particle is played by the imaginary parts of the one-loop radiative corrections, which are affected in nontrivial ways by the presence of fakeons in the loop. The knowledge we have today is sufficient to prove that most non directly (...)
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  9. added 2019-11-15
    Empirical Incoherence and Double Functionalism.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    Recent work on quantum gravity suggests that neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entites exist at a fundamental level. The loss of both brings with it the threat of empirical incoherence. A theory is empirically incoherent when the truth of that theory undermines the empirical justification for believing it. If neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entities exist as a part of a fundamental theory of QG, then such a theory seems to imply that there are no observables and so no way (...)
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  10. added 2019-10-15
    The Nature of Representation in Feynman Diagrams.Mauro Dorato & Emanuele Rossanese - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (4):443-458.
    After a brief presentation of Feynman diagrams, we criticizise the idea that Feynman diagrams can be considered to be pictures or depictions of actual physical processes. We then show that the best interpretation of the role they play in quantum field theory and quantum electrodynamics is captured by Hughes' Denotation, Deduction and Interpretation theory of models, where “models” are to be interpreted as inferential, non-representational devices constructed in given social contexts by the community of physicists.
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  11. added 2019-10-05
    The Correspondence Principle in Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity.Damiano Anselmi - manuscript
    We discuss the fate of the correspondence principle beyond quantum mechanics, specifically in quantum field theory and quantum gravity, in connection with the intrinsic limitations of the human ability to observe the external world. We conclude that the best correspondence principle is made of unitarity, locality, proper renormalizability (a refinement of strict renormalizability), combined with fundamental local symmetries and the requirement of having a finite number of fields. Quantum gravity is identified in an essentially unique way. The gauge interactions are (...)
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  12. added 2019-09-11
    How to Be a Relativistic Spacetime State Realist.Noel Swanson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    According to spacetime state realism, the fundamental ontology of a quantum mechanical world consists of a state-valued field evolving in 4-dimensional spacetime. One chief advantage it claims over rival wavefunction realist views is its natural compatibility with relativistic quantum field theory. I argue that the original density operator formulation of SSR cannot be extended to QFTs where the local observables form type III von Neumann algebras. Instead, I propose a new formulation of SSR in terms of a presheaf of local (...)
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  13. added 2019-09-11
    On the Ostrogradski Instability; or, Why Physics Really Uses Second Derivatives.Noel Swanson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz042.
    Candidates for fundamental physical laws rarely, if ever, employ higher than second time derivatives. Easwaran sketches an enticing story that purports to explain away this puzzling fact and thereby provides indirect evidence for a particular set of metaphysical theses used in the explanation. I object to both the scope and coherence of Easwaran's account, before going on to defend an alternative, more metaphysically deflationary explanation: in interacting Lagrangian field theories, it is either impossible or very hard to incorporate higher than (...)
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  14. added 2019-09-11
    Deciphering the Algebraic CPT Theorem.Noel Swanson - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 68:106-125.
    The CPT theorem states that any causal, Lorentz-invariant, thermodynamically well-behaved quantum field theory must also be invariant under a reflection symmetry that reverses the direction of time, flips spatial parity, and conjugates charge. Although its physical basis remains obscure, CPT symmetry appears to be necessary in order to unify quantum mechanics with relativity. This paper attempts to decipher the physical reasoning behind proofs of the CPT theorem in algebraic quantum field theory. Ultimately, CPT symmetry is linked to a systematic reversal (...)
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  15. added 2019-09-11
    Review of Jonathan Bain’s CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection. [REVIEW]Noel Swanson - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):530-539.
  16. added 2019-09-11
    A Philosopher's Guide to the Foundations of Quantum Field Theory.Noel Swanson - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (5):e12414.
    A major obstacle facing interpreters of quantum field theory is a proliferation of different theoretical frameworks. This article surveys three of the main available options—Lagrangian, Wightman, and algebraic QFT—and examines how they are related. Although each framework emphasizes different aspects of QFT, leading to distinct strengths and weaknesses, there is less tension between them than commonly assumed. Given the limitations of our current knowledge and the need for creative new ideas, I urge philosophers to explore puzzles, tools, and techniques from (...)
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  17. added 2019-07-29
    Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory. [REVIEW]Roman Frigg - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (3):511-514.
    The essays in the first part, Approaches to Ontology, explore different philosophical frameworks in which the ontology of QFT could fruitfully be examined. Despite their differences, they all agree that traditional ontologies, in particular substance-attribute ontology, are unsuitable for QFT. Peter Simons begins by pointing out why substance-attribute ontology, applied set theory, fact ontology, occurrent ontologies, and trope theory are inadequate ontologies for QFT and then puts forward his own suggestion: factored ontology. The main idea of this ontology is to (...)
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  18. added 2019-06-18
    Interpreting Quantum Theories: The Art of the Possible.Laura Ruetsche - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Philosophers of quantum mechanics have generally addressed exceedingly simple systems. Laura Ruetsche offers a much-needed study of the interpretation of more complicated systems, and an underexplored family of physical theories, such as quantum field theory and quantum statistical mechanics, showing why they repay philosophical attention. She guides those familiar with the philosophy of ordinary QM into the philosophy of 'QM infinity', by presenting accessible introductions to relevant technical notions and the foundational questions they frame--and then develops and defends answers to (...)
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  19. added 2019-06-06
    How is Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking Possible? Understanding Wigner's Theorem in Light of Unitary Inequivalence.David John Baker & Hans Halvorson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):464-469.
    We pose and resolve a puzzle about spontaneous symmetry breaking in the quantum theory of infinite systems. For a symmetry to be spontaneously broken, it must not be implementable by a unitary operator in a ground state's GNS representation. But Wigner's theorem guarantees that any symmetry's action on states is given by a unitary operator. How can this unitary operator fail to implement the symmetry in the GNS representation? We show how it is possible for a unitary operator of this (...)
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    Localization and the Interface Between Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Field Theory and Quantum Gravity I.Bert Schroer - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (2):104-127.
    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 (...)
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    Meinard Kuhlmann, Holger Lyre, and Andrew Wayne : Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory. [REVIEW]Roman Frigg - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (3):511-514.
    What does quantum field theory (QFT) tell us about the furniture of the world? Seventeen essays gathered in the four parts of Ontological Aspects of Quantum Field Theory address this question from different angles and with different objectives. Together, they form a wide-ranging and up-to-date volume that makes a valuable contribution to an ongoing discussion, which, due to the comprehensive introduction by the editors, can be of interest to experts and novices alike.
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  22. added 2019-06-06
    Effective Content of Field Theory.G. Metakides - 1979 - Annals of Pure and Applied Logic 17 (3):289.
  23. added 2019-06-05
    Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. Paul Teller.Nick Huggett & Robert Weingard - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):302-314.
  24. added 2019-03-25
    Renormalization Group Methods.Porter Williams - forthcoming - In Alistair Wilson & Eleanor Knox (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    This is an introduction to renormalization group methods in quantum field theory aimed at philosophers of science. review path integral methods, the relationship between early renormalization theory and renormalization group methods, and conceptual shifts in thinking about quantum field theory spurred by the development of renormalization group methods.
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  25. added 2019-02-06
    Strange Positions.Gordon Fleming & Jeremy Butterfield - 1999 - In Jeremy Butterfield & Constantine Pagonis (eds.), From Physics to Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 108--165.
    The current status of localization and related concepts, especially localized statevectors and position operators, within Lorentz-invariant Quantum Theory (LIQT) is ambiguous and controversial.1 Ever since the early work of Newton & Wigner (1949), and the subsequent extensions of their work, particularly by Hegerfeldt (1974, 1985), it has seemed impossible to identify localized statevectors or position operators in LIQT that were not counterintuitive—strange—in one way or another; the most striking strange property being the superluminal propagation of the localized states. The ambiguous (...)
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  26. added 2019-02-01
    Not Particles, Not Quite Fields: An Ontology for Quantum Field Theory.Tracy Lupher - 2018 - Humana Mente 4 (13):155-173.
    There are significant problems involved in determining the ontology of quantum field theory. An ontology involving particles seems to be ruled out due to the problem of defining localized position operators, issues involving interactions in QFT, and, perhaps, the appearance of unitarily inequivalent representations. While this might imply that fields are the most natural ontology for QFT, the wavefunctional interpretation of QFT has significant drawbacks. A modified field ontology is examined where determinables are assigned to open bounded regions of spacetime (...)
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  27. added 2019-01-20
    A Scientific Metaphysical Naturalisation of Information.Bruce Long - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    The objective of this thesis is to present a naturalised metaphysics of information, or to naturalise information, by way of deploying a scientific metaphysics according to which contingency is privileged and a-priori conceptual analysis is excluded (or at least greatly diminished) in favour of contingent and defeasible metaphysics. The ontology of information is established according to the premises and mandate of the scientific metaphysics by inference to the best explanation, and in accordance with the idea that the primacy of physics (...)
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  28. added 2018-12-14
    Spacetime 'Emergence'.Nick Huggett - 2018 - In Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    Could spacetime be derived rather than fundamental? The question is pressing because attempts to quantize gravity have led to theories in which (arguably) there are either no, or only extremely thin, spacetime structures. Moreover, recent proposals for the interpretation of quantum mechanics have suggested that 3-dimensional space may be an ‘appearance’ derived from the 3N-dimensional space in which an N-particle wavefunction lives (cross- reference). In fact, I will largely assume a positive answer, and investigate how it could be; in particular, (...)
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  29. added 2018-09-06
    Super-Humeanism: Insufficiently Naturalistic and Insufficiently Explanatory: Michael Esfeld and Dirk-André Deckert: A Minimalist Ontology of the Natural World. New York: Routledge, 2017, 182pp, US$140.00 HB.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):427-431.
  30. added 2018-06-04
    Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Effective Quantum Field Theories (EFTs) are effective insofar as they apply within a prescribed range of length-scales, but within that range they predict and describe with extremely high accuracy and precision. The effectiveness of EFTs is explained by identifying the features – the scaling behaviour of the parameters – which lead to effectiveness. The explanation relies on distinguishing autonomy with respect to changes in microstates, from autonomy with respect to changes in microlaws, and relating these, respectively, to renormalisability and naturalness. (...)
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  31. added 2018-05-23
    Quantum Gravity: A Dogma of Unification?Kian Salimkhani - 2018 - In Alexander Christian, David Hommen, Nina Retzlaff & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), Philosophy of Science. European Studies in Philosophy of Science, vol 9. Cham: Springer. pp. 23-41.
    The quest for a theory of quantum gravity is usually understood to be driven by philosophical assumptions external to physics proper. It is suspected that specifically approaches in the context of particle physics are rather based on metaphysical premises than experimental data or physical arguments. I disagree. In this paper, I argue that the quest for a theory of quantum gravity sets an important example of physics’ internal unificatory practice. It is exactly Weinberg’s and others’ particle physics stance that reveals (...)
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  32. added 2018-05-22
    Quantum Field Theory: An Introduction.Ryan Reece - manuscript
    This document is a set of notes I took on QFT as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, mainly inspired in lectures by Burt Ovrut, but also working through Peskin and Schroeder (1995), as well as David Tong’s lecture notes available online. They take a slow pedagogical approach to introducing classical field theory, Noether’s theorem, the principles of quantum mechanics, scattering theory, and culminating in the derivation of Feynman diagrams.
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  33. added 2018-05-22
    Derivation of the Quantum Mechanical Momentum Operator in the Position Representation.Ryan Reece - manuscript
    I pedagogically show that the momentum operator in quantum mechanics, in the position representation, commonly known to be a derivative with respect to a spatial x-coordinate, can be derived by identifying momentum as the generator of space translations.
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  34. added 2018-05-22
    A Search for New Physics in High-Mass Ditau Events in the ATLAS Detector.Ryan Reece - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    This thesis is a work of experimental physics, a search for new physics with the ATLAS experiment. I post this thesis on the PhilArchive because it includes a pedagogical summary of quantum mechanics and the standard model of particle physics in the combination of chapters 1-2 and appendix A. This was my attempt at the end of my PhD of giving a bird's eye view of the standard model, with a thorough bibliography of the publication trail that lead to its (...)
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  35. added 2018-05-09
    On the CPT Theorem.Hilary Greaves & Teruji Thomas - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 45:46-65.
    We provide a careful development and rigorous proof of the CPT theorem within the framework of mainstream quantum field theory. This is in contrast to the usual rigorous proofs in purely axiomatic frameworks, and non-rigorous proof-sketches in the mainstream approach. We construct the CPT transformation for a general field directly, without appealing to the enumerative classification of representations, and in a manner that is clearly related to the requirements of our proof. Our approach applies equally in Minkowski spacetimes of any (...)
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  36. added 2018-04-24
    The Metaphysics of Invariance.David Schroeren - manuscript
    Fundamental physics contains an important link between properties of elementary particles and continuous symmetries of particle systems. For example, properties such as mass and spin are said to be 'associated' with specific continuous symmetries. -/- These 'associations' have played a key role in the discovery of various new particle kinds, but more importantly: they are thought to provide a deep insight into the nature of physical reality. The link between properties and symmetries has been said to call for a radical (...)
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  37. added 2018-02-17
    Entanglement and Open Systems in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory.Rob Clifton & Hans Halvorson - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (1):1-31.
    Entanglement has long been the subject of discussion by philosophers of quantum theory, and has recently come to play an essential role for physicists in their development of quantum information theory. In this paper we show how the formalism of algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) provides a rigorous framework within which to analyse entanglement in the context of a fully relativistic formulation of quantum theory. What emerges from the analysis are new practical and theoretical limitations on an experimenter's ability to (...)
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  38. added 2018-02-16
    Explaining Quantum Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking.Chuang Liu & Gérard G. Emch - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (1):137-163.
    Two alternative accounts of quantum spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB) are compared and one of them, the decompositional account in the algebraic approach, is argued to be superior for understanding quantum SSB. Two exactly solvable models are given as applications of our account -- the Weiss-Heisenberg model for ferromagnetism and the BCS model for superconductivity. Finally, the decompositional account is shown to be more conducive to the causal explanation of quantum SSB.
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  39. added 2018-02-16
    Weyling the Time Away: The Non-Unitary Implementability of Quantum Field Dynamics on Curved Spacetime.Aristidis Arageorgis, John Earman & Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (2):151-184.
    The simplest case of quantum field theory on curved spacetime—that of the Klein–Gordon field on a globally hyperbolic spacetime—reveals a dilemma: In generic circumstances, either there is no dynamics for this quantum field, or else there is a dynamics that is not unitarily implementable. We do not try to resolve the dilemma here, but endeavour to spell out the consequences of seizing one or the other horn of the dilemma.
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  40. added 2018-02-16
    Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation.Stephan Hartmann - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (2):267-304.
    Effective field theories have been a very popular tool in quantum physics for almost two decades. And there are good reasons for this. I will argue that effective field theories share many of the advantages of both fundamental theories and phenomenological models, while avoiding their respective shortcomings. They are, for example, flexible enough to cover a wide range of phenomena, and concrete enough to provide a detailed story of the specific mechanisms at work at a given energy scale. So will (...)
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  41. added 2018-01-04
    Relativistic Markovian Dynamical Collapse Theories Must Employ Nonstandard Degrees of Freedom.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Physical Review A 96:062116.
    The impossibility of an indeterministic evolution for standard relativistic quantum field theories, that is, theories in which all fields satisfy the condition that the generators of space-time translation have spectra in the forward light-cone, is demonstrated. The demonstration proceeds by arguing that a relativistically invariant theory must have a stable vacuum and then showing that stability of the vacuum, together with the requirements imposed by relativistic causality, entails deterministic evolution, if all degrees of freedom are standard degrees of freedom.
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  42. added 2017-11-03
    The Ontology of Quantum Field Theory: Structural Realism Vindicated?David Glick - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:78-86.
    In this paper I elicit a prediction from structural realism and compare it, not to a historical case, but to a contemporary scientific theory. If structural realism is correct, then we should expect physics to develop theories that fail to provide an ontology of the sort sought by traditional realists. If structure alone is responsible for instrumental success, we should expect surplus ontology to be eliminated. Quantum field theory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the best confirmed theories in (...)
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  43. added 2017-05-19
    Renormalizability, Fundamentality and a Final Theory: The Role of UV-Completion in the Search for Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther & Niels Linnemann - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx052.
    Principles are central to physical reasoning, particularly in the search for a theory of quantum gravity (QG), where novel empirical data is lacking. One principle widely adopted in the search for QG is UV completion: the idea that a theory should (formally) hold up to all possible high energies. We argue---/contra/ standard scientific practice---that UV-completion is poorly-motivated as a guiding principle in theory-construction, and cannot be used as a criterion of theory-justification in the search for QG. For this, we explore (...)
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  44. added 2017-05-19
    Appearing Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
    Quantum gravity is understood as a theory that, in some sense, unifies general relativity (GR) and quantum theory, and is supposed to replace GR at extremely small distances (high-energies). It may be that quantum gravity represents the breakdown of spacetime geometry described by GR. The relationship between quantum gravity and spacetime has been deemed ``emergence'', and the aim of this thesis is to investigate and explicate this relation. After finding traditional philosophical accounts of emergence to be inappropriate, I develop a (...)
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  45. added 2017-05-18
    Quanta Transfer in Space is Conserved.Henk Grimm - 2017
    The paper is replaced by a new version (12-2019): DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3572846 -/- Physical phenomena emerge from the quantum fields everywhere in space. However, not only the phenomena emerge from the quantum fields, the law of the conservation of energy must have its origin from the same spatial structure. This paper describes the relations between the main law of physics and the mathematical structure of the “aggregated” quantum fields.
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  46. added 2017-05-06
    Reconditioning in Discrete Quantum Field Theory.Stan Gudder - 2017 - International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Springer-Verlag, USA, 122:1-14.
    AUTHOR: STAN GUDDER (John Evans Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Denver, USA) -- -/- We consider a discrete scalar, quantum field theory based on a cubic 4-dimensional lattice. We mainly investigate a discrete scattering operator S(x0,r) where x0 and r are positive integers representing time and maximal total energy, respectively. The operator S(x0,r) is used to define transition amplitudes which are then employed to compute transition probabilities. These probabilities are conditioned on the time-energy (x0,r). In order to maintain total (...)
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  47. added 2017-03-10
    QFT, Antimatter, and Symmetry.David Wallace - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (3):209-222.
    A systematic analysis is made of the relations between the symmetries of a classical field and the symmetries of the one-particle quantum system that results from quantizing that field in regimes where interactions are weak. The results are applied to gain a greater insight into the phenomenon of antimatter.
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  48. added 2017-02-11
    Conformal Field Theories and Critical Phenomena.Bo-wei Xu - 1993 - Foundations of Physics 23 (2):329-339.
    In this article we present a brief review of the conformal symmetry and the two-dimensional conformal quantum field theories. As concrete applications of the conformal theories to the critical phenomena in statistical systems, we calculate the value of central charge and the anomalous scale dimensions of the Z 2 symmetric quantum chain with boundary condition. The results are compatible with the prediction of the conformal field theories.
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  49. added 2017-02-10
    Feynman's Diagrams, Pictorial Representations and Styles of Scientific Thinking.Dorato Mauro & Emanuele Rossanese - manuscript
    In this paper we argue that the different positions taken by Dyson and Feynman on Feynman diagrams’ representational role depend on different styles of scientific thinking. We begin by criticizing the idea that Feynman Diagrams can be considered to be pictures or depictions of actual physical processes. We then show that the best interpretation of the role they play in quantum field theory and quantum electrodynamics is captured by Hughes' Denotation, Deduction and Interpretation theory of models (DDI), where “models” are (...)
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  50. added 2017-01-30
    Renormalization for Philosophers.Jeremy Butterfield & Nazim Bouatta - unknown
    We have two aims. The main one is to expound the idea of renormalization in quantum field theory, with no technical prerequisites. Our motivation is that renormalization is undoubtedly one of the great ideas—and great successes--of twentieth-century physics. Also it has strongly influenced in diverse ways, how physicists conceive of physical theories. So it is of considerable philosophical interest. Second, we will briefly relate renormalization to Ernest Nagel's account of inter-theoretic relations, especially reduction. One theme will be a contrast between (...)
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