Why be Natural?

Foundations of Physics 49 (9):898-914 (2019)
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Abstract

Naturalness, as a guiding principle for effective field theories, requires that there be no sensitive correlations between phenomena at low- and high-energy scales. This essay considers four reasons to adopt this principle: natural EFTs exhibit modest empirical success; unnatural EFTs are improbable; naturalness underwrites what Williams calls a “central dogma” of EFTs; namely, that phenomena at widely separated scales should decouple; and naturalness underwrites a non-trivial notion of emergence. I argue that the first three are not compelling reasons, whereas the fourth is.

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Jonathan Bain
New York University

Citations of this work

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.

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References found in this work

More is different.P. W. Anderson - 1994 - In H. Gutfreund & G. Toulouse (eds.), Biology and Computation: A Physicist's Choice. World Scientific. pp. 3--21.
Naturalness, the autonomy of scales, and the 125GeV Higgs.Porter Williams - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:82-96.
Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?Alexander Franklin - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1235-1259.
Effective field theories.Jonathan Bain - 2013 - In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oup Usa. pp. 224.

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