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  1. The Quantum Vacuum and the Cosmological Constant Problem.Svend E. Rugh & Henrik Zinkernagel - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (4):663-705.
    The cosmological constant problem arises at the intersection between general relativity and quantum field theory, and is regarded as a fundamental problem in modern physics. In this paper we describe the historical and conceptual origin of the cosmological constant problem which is intimately connected to the vacuum concept in quantum field theory. We critically discuss how the problem rests on the notion of physically real vacuum energy, and which relations between general relativity and quantum field theory are assumed in order (...)
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  • The Dissipative Approach to Quantum Field Theory: Conceptual Foundations and Ontological Implications.Andrea Oldofredi & Hans Christian Öttinger - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
    Many attempts have been made to provide Quantum Field Theory with conceptually clear and mathematically rigorous foundations; remarkable examples are the Bohmian and the algebraic perspectives respectively. In this essay we introduce the dissipative approach to QFT, a new alternative formulation of the theory explaining the phenomena of particle creation and annihilation starting from nonequilibrium thermodynamics. It is shown that DQFT presents a rigorous mathematical structure, and a clear particle ontology, taking the best from the mentioned perspectives. Finally, after the (...)
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  • Two Notions of Naturalness.Porter Williams - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):1022-1050.
    My aim in this paper is twofold: to distinguish two notions of naturalness employed in beyond the standard model physics and to argue that recognizing this distinction has methodological consequences. One notion of naturalness is an “autonomy of scales” requirement: it prohibits sensitive dependence of an effective field theory’s low-energy observables on precise specification of the theory’s description of cutoff-scale physics. I will argue that considerations from the general structure of effective field theory provide justification for the role this notion (...)
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  • The Missing Curriculum in Physics Problem-Solving Education.Mobolaji Williams - 2018 - Science & Education 27 (3-4):299-319.
    Physics is often seen as an excellent introduction to science because it allows students to learn not only the laws governing the world around them, but also, through the problems students solve, a way of thinking which is conducive to solving problems outside of physics and even outside of science. In this article, we contest this latter idea and argue that in physics classes, students do not learn widely applicable problem-solving skills because physics education almost exclusively requires students to solve (...)
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  • Kirchhoff’s Theory for Optical Diffraction, its Predecessor and Subsequent Development: The Resilience of an Inconsistent Theory.Chen-Pang Yeang & Jed Buchwald - 2016 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 70 (5):463-511.
    Kirchhoff’s 1882 theory of optical diffraction forms the centerpiece in the long-term development of wave optics, one that commenced in the 1820s when Fresnel produced an empirically successful theory based on a reinterpretation of Huygens’ principle, but without working from a wave equation. Then, in 1856, Stokes demonstrated that the principle was derivable from such an equation albeit without consideration of boundary conditions. Kirchhoff’s work a quarter century later marked a crucial, and widely influential, point for he produced Fresnel’s results (...)
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  • A Matter of Principle: The Principles of Quantum Theory, Dirac’s Equation, and Quantum Information.Arkady Plotnitsky - 2015 - Foundations of Physics 45 (10):1222-1268.
    This article is concerned with the role of fundamental principles in theoretical physics, especially quantum theory. The fundamental principles of relativity will be addressed as well, in view of their role in quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory, specifically Dirac’s work, which, in particular Dirac’s derivation of his relativistic equation of the electron from the principles of relativity and quantum theory, is the main focus of this article. I shall also consider Heisenberg’s earlier work leading him to the discovery of (...)
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  • Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena.Basil Evangelidis - 2020 - Wilmington, Delaware, USA: Vernon Press.
    'Reason, Causation and Compatibility with the Phenomena' strives to give answers to the philosophical problem of the interplay between realism, explanation and experience. This book is a compilation of essays that recollect significant conceptions of rival terms such as determinism and freedom, reason and appearance, power and knowledge. This title discusses the progress made in epistemology and natural philosophy, especially the steps that led from the ancient theory of atomism to the modern quantum theory, and from mathematization to analytic philosophy. (...)
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  • The Education of Walter Kohn and the Creation of Density Functional Theory.Andrew Zangwill - 2014 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 68 (6):775-848.
    The theoretical solid-state physicist Walter Kohn was awarded one-half of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his mid-1960s creation of an approach to the many-particle problem in quantum mechanics called density functional theory. In its exact form, DFT establishes that the total charge density of any system of electrons and nuclei provides all the information needed for a complete description of that system. This was a breakthrough for the study of atoms, molecules, gases, liquids, and solids. Before DFT, it (...)
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  • The Strong and Weak Senses of Theory-Ladenness of Experimentation: Theory-Driven Versus Exploratory Experiments in the History of High-Energy Particle Physics.Koray Karaca - 2013 - Science in Context 26 (1):93-136.
    ArgumentIn the theory-dominated view of scientific experimentation, all relations of theory and experiment are taken on a par; namely, that experiments are performed solely to ascertain the conclusions of scientific theories. As a result, different aspects of experimentation and of the relations of theory to experiment remain undifferentiated. This in turn fosters a notion of theory-ladenness of experimentation that is toocoarse-grainedto accurately describe the relations of theory and experiment in scientific practice. By contrast, in this article, I suggest that TLE (...)
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  • A Case for an Empirically Demonstrable Notion of the Vacuum in Quantum Electrodynamics Independent of Dynamical Fluctuations.Mario Bacelar Valente - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):241-261.
    A re-evaluation of the notion of vacuum in quantum electrodynamics is presented, focusing on the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field. In contrast to the ‘nothingness’ associated to the idea of classical vacuum, subtle aspects are found in relation to the vacuum of the quantized electromagnetic field both at theoretical and experimental levels. These are not the usually called vacuum effects. The view defended here is that the so-called vacuum effects are not due to the ground state of the quantized (...)
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  • Preludes to Dark Energy: Zero-Point Energy and Vacuum Speculations.Helge Kragh - 2012 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 66 (3):199-240.
    According to modern physics and cosmology, the universe expands at an increasing rate as the result of a “dark energy” that characterizes empty space. Although dark energy is a modern concept, some elements in it can be traced back to the early part of the twentieth century. I examine the origin of the idea of zero-point energy, and in particular how it appeared in a cosmological context in a hypothesis proposed by Walther Nernst in 1916. The hypothesis of a zero-point (...)
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  • Book Reviews. [REVIEW]P. David Moncrief - 2010 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 24 (3).
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  • JSE 24:3 Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Bauer Henry - 2010 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 24 (3).
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  • Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Henry H. Bauer, Stephan Ray Flora, Tana Dineen, Michael Schmicker, Ephraim Fischbach, Carlos S. Alvarado, Enaud Revrard, Adrian Parker & Hale Brownlee - 2010 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 24 (3).
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  • How Do Feynman Diagrams Work?James Robert Brown - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (4):423-442.
    Feynman diagrams are now iconic. Like pictures of the Bohr atom, everyone knows they have something important to do with physics. Those who work in quantum field theory, string theory, and other esoteric fields of physics use them extensively. In spite of this, it is far from clear what they are or how they work. Are they mere calculating tools? Are they somehow pictures of physical reality? Are they models in any interesting sense? Or do they play some other kind (...)
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  • Mathematical Developments in the Rise of Yang–Mills Gauge Theories.Adam Koberinski - 2019 - Synthese:1-31.
    In this paper I detail three major mathematical developments that led to the emergence of Yang–Mills theories as the foundation for the standard model of particle physics. In less than 10 years, work on renormalizability, the renormalization group, and lattice quantum field theory highlighted the utility of Yang–Mills type models of quantum field theory by connecting poorly understood candidate dynamical models to emerging experimental results. I use this historical case study to provide lessons for theory construction in physics, and touch (...)
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  • Idealization in Quantum Field Theory.Stephan Hartmann - 1998 - In Niall Shanks (ed.), Idealization in Contemporary Physics. pp. 99-122.
    This paper explores various functions of idealizations in quantum field theory. To this end it is important to first distinguish between different kinds of theories and models of or inspired by quantum field theory. Idealizations have pragmatic and cognitive functions. Analyzing a case-study from hadron physics, I demonstrate the virtues of studying highly idealized models for exploring the features of theories with an extremely rich structure such as quantum field theory and for gaining some understanding of the physical processes in (...)
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  • The Dirac Equation as a Path to the Concept of Quanta, and its Role in Quantum Electrodynamics.Mario Bacelar Valente - unknown
    In this article the Dirac equation is used a guideline to see the historical emergence of the concept of quanta, associated with the quantum field. In P. Jordan’s approach, the electron as quanta results from the quantization of a classical field described by the Dirac equation. The concept of quanta becomes a central piece in the applications of the theory and is seen as fundamental in the intelegibility of the interaction between fields, being the Fock space the natural mathematical structure (...)
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  • Pascual Jordan's Resolution of the Conundrum of the Wave-Particle Duality of Light.Anthony Duncan & Michel Janssen - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):634-666.
    In 1909, Einstein derived a formula for the mean square energy fluctuation in blackbody radiation. This formula is the sum of a wave term and a particle term. In a key contribution to the 1926 Dreim¨.
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  • Einstein's Impact on the Physics of the Twentieth Century.Domenico Giulini & Norbert Straumann - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):115-173.
  • ‘But One Must Not Legalize the Mentioned Sin’: Phenomenological Vs. Dynamical Treatments of Rods and Clocks in Einstein׳s Thought.Marco Giovanelli - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48 (1):20-44.
    The paper offers a historical overview of Einstein's oscillating attitude towards a "phenomenological" and "dynamical" treatment of rods and clocks in relativity theory. Contrary to what it has been usually claimed in recent literature, it is argued that this distinction should not be understood in the framework of opposition between principle and constructive theories. In particular Einstein does not seem to have plead for a "dynamical" explanation for the phenomenon rods contraction and clock dilation which was initially described only "kinematically". (...)
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  • Conceptual Problems in Quantum Electrodynamics: A Contemporary Historical-Philosophical Approach.Mario Bacelar Valente - unknown
    PhD dissertation addressing what can be called conceptual-mathematical anomalies in quantum electrodynamics. This work can be seen as following the line of philosophy of physics studies of quantum field theory that started to emerge in a systematic way in the early eighties of last century. One example is Teller’s work on standard quantum electrodynamics.In this work, by following a historical approach, I will return to the standard version of quantum electrodynamics, which is the only one available when we want to (...)
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  • Mathematical Structure and Empirical Content.Michael Miller - unknown
    Approaches to the interpretation of physical theories provide accounts of how physical meaning accrues to the mathematical structure of a theory. According to many standard approaches to interpretation, meaning relations are captured by maps from the mathematical structure of the theory to statements expressing its empirical content. In this paper I argue that while such accounts adequately address meaning relations when exact models are available or perturbation theory converges, they do not fare as well for models that give rise to (...)
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  • Why Feynman Diagrams Represent.Letitia Meynell - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):39 – 59.
    There are two distinct interpretations of the role that Feynman diagrams play in physics: (i) they are calculational devices, a type of notation designed to keep track of complicated mathematical expressions; and (ii) they are representational devices, a type of picture. I argue that Feynman diagrams not only have a calculational function but also represent: they are in some sense pictures. I defend my view through addressing two objections and in so doing I offer an account of representation that explains (...)
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  • Are Virtual Quanta Nothing but Formal Tools?Mario Bacelar Valente - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (1):39 - 53.
    The received view in philosophical studies of quantum field theory is that Feynman diagrams are simply calculational devices. Alongside this view we have the one that takes virtual quanta to be also simply formal tools. This received view was developed and consolidated in philosophy of physics by Mario Bunge, Paul Teller, Michael Redhead, Robert Weingard, Brigitte Falkenburg, and others. In this article I present an alternative to the received view.
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  • Picturing Feynman Diagrams and the Epistemology of Understanding.Letitia Meynell - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (4):459-481.
    In "Why Feynman Diagrams Represent", I argued that Feynman diagrams have two distinct functions: they are both calculational devices, developed to keep track of the long mathematical expressions of quantum electrodynamics,1 and they are pictorial representations. This challenges the common view that FDs are calculational devices alone and that it is misleading, if not an outright error, to think of them as pictorial. Following Kendall Walton's account of representation, I drew out what it means to think of FDs as pictures, (...)
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  • Quantum Field Theory: Underdetermination, Inconsistency, and Idealization.Doreen Fraser - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (4):536-567.
    Quantum field theory (QFT) presents a genuine example of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. There are variants of QFT—for example, the standard textbook formulation and the rigorous axiomatic formulation—that are empirically indistinguishable yet support different interpretations. This case is of particular interest to philosophers of physics because, before the philosophical work of interpreting QFT can proceed, the question of which variant should be subject to interpretation must be settled. New arguments are offered for basing the interpretation of QFT (...)
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  • The Origins of Schwinger׳s Euclidean Green׳s Functions.Michael E. Miller - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 50:5-12.
    This paper places Julian Schwinger's development of the Euclidean Green's function formalism for quantum field theory in historical context. It traces the techniques employed in the formalism back to Schwinger's work on waveguides during World War II, and his subsequent formulation of the Minkowski space Green's function formalism for quantum field theory in 1951. Particular attention is dedicated to understanding Schwinger's physical motivation for pursuing the Euclidean extension of this formalism in 1958.
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  • Against the Impossible Picture: Feynman's Heuristics in His Search for a Divergence-Free Quantum Electrodynamics.Adrian Wüthrich - unknown
    Arguably, the development of Feynman diagrams not only resulted in a useful tool for calculations but also brought about deep conceptual changes in the theory of quantum electrodynamics. Starting from this thesis, I try to bring to the fore a particular aspect of it. I maintain that the function of Feynman diagrams is not exhausted by their use in the application of the finished theory to concrete cases. Rather, Feynman diagrams are one of the results of Feynman's more general search (...)
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  • Photons and Temporality in Quantum Electrodynamics.Mario Bacelar Valente - unknown
    The lowest order processes described within quantum electrodynamics are free from the problems of infinites in the theory, and can be dealt with disregarding the need for charge and mass renormalization. This might indicate that the space-time description of these processes is not only consistent but also could give a privileged insight to the functioning of models provided by the theory. The Møller scattering is as R. P. Feynman considered, a prototype for the development of his rules of quantum electrodynamics (...)
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  • The Peculiar Notion of Exchange Forces—II: From Nuclear Forces to QED, 1929–1950.Cathryn Carson - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (2):99-131.
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  • The Early History of David Bohm’s Quantum Mechanics Through the Perspective of Ludwik Fleck’s Thought-Collectives.Christian Forstner - 2008 - Minerva 46 (2):215-229.
    This paper analyses the early history of David Bohm’s mechanics from the perspective of Ludwik Fleck’s thought-collectives and shows how the thought-style of the scientific community limits the possible modes of thinking and what new possibilities for the construction of a new theory arise if these limits are removed.
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  • Where is Disciplinarity Going? Meeting on the Borderland.Anne Marcovich & Terry Shinn - 2011 - Social Science Information 50 (3-4):582-606.
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  • The Exigencies of War and the Stink of a Theoretical Problem: Understanding the Genesis of Feynman’s Quantum Electrodynamics as Mechanistic Modelling at Different Levels.Adrian Wüthrich - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (4):501-520.
    In 1949, Richard Feynman published the essentials of his solution to the recalcitrant problems that plagued quantum theories of electrodynamics of his days. The main problem was that the theory, that was considered to be correct and often led to correct observable consequences, also implied that some quantities should be infinite, while by common sense or empirical evidence they were finite. Feynman devised a method of solving the relevant theoretical equations in which particular combinations of elementary solutions yielded empirically adequate (...)
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  • Feynman Diagrams: Modeling Between Physics and Mathematics.Michael Stöltzner - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (4):482-500.
    Since its inception in the late 1920s and 30s, the main problem of quantum electrodynamics had been that any interaction or scattering event involved processes of a higher order that arose from vacuum polarization, the creation and subsequent annihilation of particle-antiparticle pairs, and the mutual interactions of all those short-lived entities.1 These processes posed two kinds of conceptual problems. First, they were not detectable individually, but had a measurable effect on the energy of the overall process. Even in simple quantum (...)
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  • Philosophy as a Cultural Resource and Medium of Reflection for Hermann Weyl.Erhard Scholz - 2005 - Revue de Synthèse 126 (2):331-351.
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  • What Have the Historians of Quantum Physics Ever Done for Us?Massimiliano Badino - 2016 - Centaurus 58 (4):327-346.
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  • The Peculiar Notion of Exchange Forces-- II: From Nuclear Forces to QED, 1929-1950.C. Carson - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 27 (2):99-131.
  • Book Review. [REVIEW]Silvio Bergia - 1996 - Foundations of Physics 26 (8):1099-1101.
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