Authors
Porter Williams
University of Southern California
Abstract
The recent discovery of the Higgs at 125 GeV by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the LHC has put significant pressure on a principle which has guided much theorizing in high energy physics over the last 40 years, the principle of naturalness. In this paper, I provide an explication of the conceptual foundations and physical significance of the naturalness principle. I argue that the naturalness principle is well-grounded both empirically and in the theoretical structure of effective field theories, and that it was reasonable for physicists to endorse it. Its possible failure to be realized in nature, as suggested by recent LHC data, thus represents an empirical challenge to certain foundational aspects of our understanding of QFT. In particular, I argue that its failure would undermine one class of recent proposals which claim that QFT provides us with a picture of the world as being structured into quasi-autonomous physical domains
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2015.05.003
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References found in this work BETA

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.
Reductionism, Emergence, and Effective Field Theories.Elena Castellani - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (2):251-267.

View all 10 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.
Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1235-1259.
The Implementation, Interpretation, and Justification of Likelihoods in Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:19-35.
Two Notions of Naturalness.Porter Williams - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9):1022-1050.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

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