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

Authors
Doreen Fraser
University of Waterloo
Abstract
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.
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Reprint years 2007, 2008
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2008.05.003
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References found in this work BETA

Are Rindler Quanta Real? Inequivalent Particle Concepts in Quantum Field Theory.Rob Clifton & Hans Halvorson - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (3):417-470.
Interpreting Quantum Field Theory.Laura Ruetsche - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):348-378.

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Citations of this work BETA

Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory.David Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
How to Take Particle Physics Seriously: A Further Defence of Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory.Doreen Fraser - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):126-135.
What is a Wavefunction?Wayne C. Myrvold - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3247-3274.
Antimatter.David Baker & Hans Halvorson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):93-121.

View all 26 citations / Add more citations

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