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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2007, 2008
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2008.05.003
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
Through your library

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.
An Interpretative Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Paul Teller - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):152-153.
Particle Labels and the Theory of Indistinguishable Particles in Quantum Mechanics.Michael Redhead & Paul Teller - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (2):201-218.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Scientific Realism Made Effective.Porter Williams - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):209-237.
Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (2):116-125.
Against Field Interpretations of Quantum Field Theory.David John Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):585-609.
Emergence Without Limits: The Case of Phonons.Alexander Franklin & Eleanor Knox - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 64:68-78.

View all 53 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
311 ( #34,489 of 2,519,649 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
24 ( #36,310 of 2,519,649 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes