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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. On Magnetic Forces and Work.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (4):1-17.
    We address a long-standing debate over whether classical magnetic forces can do work, ultimately answering the question in the affirmative. In detail, we couple a classical particle with intrinsic spin and elementary dipole moments to the electromagnetic field, derive the appropriate generalization of the Lorentz force law, show that the particle’s dipole moments must be collinear with its spin axis, and argue that the magnetic field does mechanical work on the particle’s elementary magnetic dipole moment. As consistency checks, we calculate (...)
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  2. Emergence in Effective Field Theories.Jonathan Bain - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):257-273.
    This essay considers the extent to which a concept of emergence can be associated with Effective Field Theories (EFTs). I suggest that such a concept can be characterized by microphysicalism and novelty underwritten by the elimination of degrees of freedom from a high-energy theory, and argue that this makes emergence in EFTs distinct from other concepts of emergence in physics that have appeared in the recent philosophical literature.
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  3. 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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  4. Manifestly Covariant Lagrangians, Classical Particles with Spin, and the Origins of Gauge Invariance.Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    In this paper, we review a general technique for converting the standard Lagrangian description of a classical system into a formulation that puts time on an equal footing with the system's degrees of freedom. We show how the resulting framework anticipates key features of special relativity, including the signature of the Minkowski metric tensor and the special role played by theories that are invariant under a generalized notion of Lorentz transformations. We then use this technique to revisit a classification of (...)
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  5. Can Magnetic Forces Do Work?Jacob Barandes - manuscript
    Standard lore holds that magnetic forces are incapable of doing mechanical work. More precisely, the claim is that whenever it appears that a magnetic force is doing work, the work is actually being done by another force, with the magnetic force serving only as an indirect mediator. On the other hand, the most familiar instances of magnetic forces acting in everyday life—bar magnets lifting other bar magnets—appear to present manifest evidence of magnetic forces doing work. These sorts of counterexamples are (...)
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  6. The Emergence of Resonance Dual Models: A First Look at Some Early Historical Prolegomena of a Related Formal Technique.Giuseppe Iurato - manuscript
    We wish to lay out, within its historical context, one of the chief works which has led to the formulation of the early resonance dual models prior to string theory. Indeed, we shall focus on the fundamental Tullio Regge work of 1959, to be precise, on certain Mathematical methods handled by him to pursue his original intentions mainly motivated to prove the validity of the so-called Mandelstam representation for the potential scattering of two spinless particles for a given class of (...)
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  7. Some Historical Aspects Concerning the Rise of the First Exact Measurements of the Anomalous Magnetic Moment of the Muon.Giuseppe Iurato - manuscript
    In this paper, we wish to outline the main historical moments which have led to the first exact measurements of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon.
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  8. 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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  9. Emergence of Particles From Bosonic Quantum Field Theory.David Wallace - manuscript
    An examination is made of the way in which particles emerge from linear, bosonic, massive quantum field theories. Two different constructions of the one-particle subspace of such theories are given, both illustrating the importance of the interplay between the quantum-mechanical linear structure and the classical one. Some comments are made on the Newton-Wigner representation of one-particle states, and on the relationship between the approach of this paper and those of Segal, and of Haag and Ruelle.
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  10. Feynman's Diagrams, Pictorial Representations and Styles of Scientific Thinking.Dorato Mauro & Emanuele Rossanese - 2017
    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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  11. The Coalescence Approach to Inequivalent Representation: Pre-QM ∞ Parallels.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Ruetsche ([2011]) argues that the occurrence of unitarily inequivalent representations in quantum theories with infinitely many degrees of freedom poses a novel interpretational problem. According to Ruetsche, such theories compel us to reject the so-called ideal of pristine interpretation; she puts forward the ‘coalescence approach’ as an alternative. In this paper I offer a novel defence of the coalescence approach. The defence rests on the claim that the ideal of pristine interpretation already fails before one considers the peculiarities of QM∞: (...)
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  12. 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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  13. Gauge Invariance for Classical Massless Particles with Spin.Jacob A. Barandes - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-14.
    Wigner’s quantum-mechanical classification of particle-types in terms of irreducible representations of the Poincaré group has a classical analogue, which we extend in this paper. We study the compactness properties of the resulting phase spaces at fixed energy, and show that in order for a classical massless particle to be physically sensible, its phase space must feature a classical-particle counterpart of electromagnetic gauge invariance. By examining the connection between massless and massive particles in the massless limit, we also derive a classical-particle (...)
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  14. I Ain’T Afraid of No Ghost.John Dougherty - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:70-84.
    This paper criticizes the traditional philosophical account of the quantization of gauge theories and offers an alternative. On the received view, gauge theories resist quantization because they feature distinct mathematical representatives of the same physical state of affairs. This resistance is overcome by a sequence of ad hoc modifications, justified in part by reference to semiclassical electrodynamics. Among other things, these modifications introduce "ghosts": particles with unphysical properties which do not appear in asymptotic states and which are said to be (...)
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  15. Spacetime "Emergence".Nick Huggett - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alistair Wilson (eds.), The 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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  16. Quantum Field Theory Formulated as a Markov Process Determined by Local Configuration.Jun Ni - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (3):1-17.
    We propose the quantum field formalism as a new type of stochastic Markov process determined by local configuration. Our proposed Markov process is different with the classical one, in which the transition probability is determined by the state labels related to the character of state. In the new quantum Markov process, the transition probability is determined not only by the state character, but also by the occupation of the state. Due to the probability occupation of the state, the classical relation (...)
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  17. Effective theories and infinite idealizations: a challenge for scientific realism.Sébastien Rivat - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12107-12136.
    Williams and J. Fraser have recently argued that effective field theory methods enable scientific realists to make more reliable ontological commitments in quantum field theory than those commonly made. In this paper, I show that the interpretative relevance of these methods extends beyond the specific context of QFT by identifying common structural features shared by effective theories across physics. In particular, I argue that effective theories are best characterized by the fact that they contain intrinsic empirical limitations, and I extract (...)
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  18. Drawing Scales Apart: The Origins of Wilson's Conception of Effective Field Theories.Sébastien Rivat - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:321-338.
  19. Renormalization Group Methods.Porter Williams - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alistair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to 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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  20. Large Gauge Transformations and the Strong CP Problem.John Dougherty - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 69:50-66.
    According to the Standard Model of particle physics, some gauge transformations are physical symmetries. That is, they are mathematical transformations that relate representatives of distinct physical states of affairs. This is at odds with the standard philosophical position according to which gauge transformations are an eliminable redundancy in a gauge theory's representational framework. In this paper I defend the Standard Model's treatment of gauge from an objection due to Richard Healey. If we follow the Standard Model in taking some gauge (...)
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  21. Ontological Investigations in the Quantum Domain: A Deflationary Approach on Ontology of Physics.Lauro de Matos Nunes Filho - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
    The aim of this thesis is to propose a deflationary approach towards the ontological analysis of physical theories. Such an approach sustains that the development of ontologies for physical theories must be neutral relatively to the debate between realists and anti-realists in philosophy of physics. Mainly, our attention will be oriented towards what we called "quantum domain", which includes the non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics and variants of the Quantum Field Theory. This meta-ontological approach consists in an attempt to provide a methodology (...)
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  22. Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1235-1259.
    Effective quantum field theories 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—that 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 renormalizability and naturalness. It is claimed that the (...)
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  23. The dissipative approach to quantum field theory: conceptual foundations and ontological implications.Andrea Oldofredi & Hans Christian Öttinger - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-36.
    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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  24. Philosophical Foundations of Effective Field Theories.Sébastien Rivat & Alexei Grinbaum - 2020 - European Physical Journal A 56 (3).
    This survey covers some of the main philosophical debates raised by the framework of effective field theories during the last decades. It is centered on three issues: whether effective field theories underpin a specific realist picture of the world, whether they support an anti-reductionist picture of physics, and whether they provide reasons to give up the ultimate aspiration of formulating a final and complete physical theory. Reviewing the past and current literature, we argue that effective field theories do not give (...)
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  25. How to Be a Relativistic Spacetime State Realist.Noel Swanson - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):933-957.
    According to spacetime state realism, the fundamental ontology of a quantum mechanical world consists of a state-valued field evolving in four-dimensional spacetime. One chief advantage it claims over rival wave-function 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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  26. 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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  27. Empirical Incoherence and Double Functionalism.Sam Baron - 2019 - Synthese (Suppl 2):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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  28. 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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  29. Naturalness, Hierarchy, and Fine-Tuning.Joshua Rosaler, Robert Harlander, Gregor Schiemann & Miguel Ángel Carretero Sahuquillo - 2019 - Foundations of Physics 49 (9).
  30. 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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  31. 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.
  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. Review of Jonathan Bain’s CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection. [REVIEW]Noel Swanson - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):530-539.
  37. “Above the Slough of Despond”: Weylean Invariantism and Quantum Physics.Iulian D. Toader - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 61:18-24.
    This paper considers Weylean invariantism, i.e., the view that objectivity requires categoricity, and argues that since the Stone-von Neumann theorem can be naturally interpreted as a categoricity result, the view is falsified by quantum field theory.
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  38. Super-Humeanism: Insufficiently Naturalistic and Insufficiently Explanatory.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):427-431.
    There is much to admire in this book. As a rigorous and systematic physics-oriented presentation of an austere empiricist fundamental metaphysics, it has no real rivals. The clarity with which the overall vision is presented will provide a valuable stalking-horse for those who would defend less austere approaches in the future. Esfeld and Deckert never shy away from the radical consequences of their approach, or try to disguise its revisionary nature. I also found several points of agreement with Esfeld and (...)
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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. Point-Particle Explanations: The Case of Gravitational Waves.Andrew Wayne - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper explores the role of physically impossible idealizations in model-based explanation. We do this by examining the explanation of gravitational waves from distant stellar objects using models that contain point-particle idealizations. Like infinite idealizations in thermodynamics, biology and economics, the point-particle idealization in general relativity is physically impossible. What makes this case interesting is that there are two very different kinds of models used for predicting the same gravitational wave phenomena, post-Newtonian models and effective field theory models. The paper (...)
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  45. Duffin–Kemmer–Petiau Particles Are Bosons.A. F. Bennett - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (9):1090-1108.
    The parametrized Duffin–Kemmer–Petiau wave equation is formulated for many relativistic particles of spin-0 or spin-1. The first-quantized formulation lacks the fields of creation and annihilation operators which satisfy commutation relations subject to causality conditions, and which are essential to the Quantum Field Theoretic proof of the spin-statistics connection. It is instead proved that the wavefunctions for identical particles must be symmetric by extension of the nonrelativistic argument of Jabs. The causal commutators of Quantum Field Theory restrict entanglement to separations of (...)
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  46. De Sitter Space Without Dynamical Quantum Fluctuations.Kimberly K. Boddy, Sean M. Carroll & Jason Pollack - 2016 - Foundations of Physics 46 (6):702-735.
    We argue that, under certain plausible assumptions, de Sitter space settles into a quiescent vacuum in which there are no dynamical quantum fluctuations. Such fluctuations require either an evolving microstate, or time-dependent histories of out-of-equilibrium recording devices, which we argue are absent in stationary states. For a massive scalar field in a fixed de Sitter background, the cosmic no-hair theorem implies that the state of the patch approaches the vacuum, where there are no fluctuations. We argue that an analogous conclusion (...)
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  47. Unitary Inequivalence in Classical Systems.Benjamin Feintzeig - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    Ruetsche argues that a problem of unitarily inequivalent representations arises in quantum theories with infinitely many degrees of freedom. I provide an algebraic formulation of classical field theories and show that unitarily inequivalent representations arise there as well. I argue that the classical case helps us rule out one possible response to the problem of unitarily inequivalent representations called Hilbert Space Conservatism.
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  48. The Higgs Mechanism and Superconductivity: A Case Study of Formal Analogies.Doreen Fraser & Adam Koberinski - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:72-91.
    Following the experimental discovery of the Higgs boson, physicists explained the discovery to the public by appealing to analogies with condensed matter physics. The historical root of these analogies is the analogies to models of superconductivity that inspired the introduction of spontaneous symmetry breaking into particle physics in the early 1960s. We offer a historical and philosophical analysis of the analogies between the Higgs model of the electroweak interaction and the Ginsburg-Landau and Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer models of superconductivity, respectively. The conclusion of (...)
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  49. 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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  50. A Quantum Field Theory Description of Elementary Fermion “Epigenetics”.Claudio Verzegnassi - 2016 - World Futures 72 (3-4):187-190.
    I derive a number of impressive analogies between the modifications of the elementary components of Matter, generated by an external source of interaction, and the analogous modifications of the elementary components of an Organism. I will consider the interaction between the elementary components of matter and a weak classic magnetic field. This interaction will be treated in the theoretical quantum field theory formalism.
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