Effective FieldTheory (EFT) is the successful paradigm underlying modern theoretical physics, including the "Core Theory" of the Standard Model of particle physics plus Einstein's general relativity. I will argue that EFT grants us a unique insight: each EFT model comes with a built-in specification of its domain of applicability. Hence, once a model is tested within some domain (of energies and interaction strengths), we can be confident that it will continue to be accurate within that domain. (...) Currently, the Core Theory has been tested in regimes that include all of the energy scales relevant to the physics of everyday life (biology, chemistry, technology, etc.). Therefore, we have reason to be confident that the laws of physics underlying the phenomena of everyday life are completely known. (shrink)
Since it was first published, QuantumFieldTheory in a Nutshell has quickly established itself as the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to this profound and deeply fascinating area of theoretical physics. Now in this fully revised and expanded edition, A. Zee covers the latest advances while providing a solid conceptual foundation for students to build on, making this the most up-to-date and modern textbook on quantumfieldtheory available. -/- This expanded edition features (...) several additional chapters, as well as an entirely new section describing recent developments in quantumfieldtheory such as gravitational waves, the helicity spinor formalism, on-shell gluon scattering, recursion relations for amplitudes with complex momenta, and the hidden connection between Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity. Zee also provides added exercises, explanations, and examples, as well as detailed appendices, solutions to selected exercises, and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
Quantumfieldtheory provides the framework for many fundamental theories in modern physics, and over the last few years there has been growing interest in its historical and philosophical foundations. This anthology on the foundations of QFT brings together 15 essays by well-known researchers in physics, the philosophy of physics, and analytic philosophy.Many of these essays were first presented as papers at the conference?Ontological Aspects of QuantumFieldTheory?, held at the Zentrum fr interdisziplinre (...) Forschung, Bielefeld, Germany. The essays contain cutting-edge work on ontological aspects of QFT, including: the role of measurement and experimental evidence, corpuscular versus field-theoretic interpretations of QFT, the interpretation of gauge symmetry, and localization.This book is ideally suited to anyone with an interest in the foundations of quantum physics, including physicists, philosophers and historians of physics, as well as general readers interested in philosophy or science. (shrink)
Analogies between classical statistical mechanics and quantumfieldtheory played a pivotal role in the development of renormalization group methods for application in the two theories. This paper focuses on the analogies that informed the application of RG methods in QFT by Kenneth Wilson and collaborators in the early 1970's. The central task that is accomplished is the identification and analysis of the analogical mappings employed. The conclusion is that the analogies in this case study are formal (...) analogies, and not physical analogies. That is, the analogical mappings relate elements of the models that play formally analogous roles and that have substantially different physical interpretations. Unlike other cases of the use of analogies in physics, the analogical mappings do not preserve causal structure. The conclusion that the analogies in this case are purely formal carries important implications for the interpretation of QFT, and poses challenges for philosophical accounts of analogical reasoning and arguments in defence of scientific realism. Analysis of the interpretation of the cutoffs is presented as an illustrative example of how physical disanalogies block the exportation of physical interpretations from from statistical mechanics to QFT. A final implication is that the application of RG methods in QFT supports non-causal explanations, but in a different manner than in statistical mechanics. (shrink)
Quantumfieldtheory (QFT) combines quantum mechanics with Einstein's special theory of relativity and underlies elementary particle physics. This book presents a philosophical analysis of QFT. It is the first treatise in which the philosophies of space-time, quantum phenomena, and particle interactions are encompassed in a unified framework. Describing the physics in nontechnical terms, and schematically illustrating complex ideas, the book also serves as an introduction to fundamental physical theories. The philosophical interpretation both upholds (...) the reality of the quantum world and acknowledges the irreducible cognitive elements in its representation. The interpretation is based on an analysis of our ways of thinking as the are embedded in the logical structure of QFT. The author argues that philosophical categories are significant only if they play active and essential roles in our knowledge and hence constitute part of the theories in actual use. Thus she regards physical theories as primary, extracts their categorical structure, and uses it to rethink key philosophical questions. Among the questions this book tries to answer are: What are the quantum properties independent of measurements? How do we refer to individual things in a continuous field? How do theories relate to objects? What are the general conditions of the world and of our ways of thinking that make possible our knowledge of the microscopic realm, which is so intangible and counterintuitive? As a penetrating analysis of vital themes in contemporary science, the book will engage the interest of students and professionals in physics and philosophy alike. (shrink)
Algebraic quantumfieldtheory provides a general, mathematically precise description of the structure of quantumfield theories, and then draws out consequences of this structure by means of various mathematical tools -- the theory of operator algebras, category theory, etc.. Given the rigor and generality of AQFT, it is a particularly apt tool for studying the foundations of QFT. This paper is a survey of AQFT, with an orientation towards foundational topics. In addition (...) to covering the basics of the theory, we discuss issues related to nonlocality, the particle concept, the field concept, and inequivalent representations. We also provide a detailed account of the analysis of superselection rules by Doplicher, Haag, and Roberts (DHR); and we give an alternative proof of Doplicher and Robert's reconstruction of fields and gauge group from the category of physical representations of the observable algebra. The latter is based on unpublished ideas due to J. E. Roberts and the abstract duality theorem for symmetric tensor *-categories, a self-contained proof of which is given in the appendix. (shrink)
QuantumFieldTheory (QFT) is the mathematical and conceptual framework for contemporary elementary particle physics. In a rather informal sense QFT is the extension of quantum mechanics (QM), dealing with particles, over to fields, i.e. systems with an infinite number of degrees of freedom. (See the entry on quantum mechanics.) In the last few years QFT has become a more widely discussed topic in philosophy of science, with questions ranging from methodology and semantics to ontology. (...) QFT taken seriously in its metaphysical implications seems to give a picture of the world which is at variance with central classical conceptions of particles and fields, and even with some features of QM. -/- The following sketches how QFT describes fundamental physics and what the status of QFT is among other theories of physics. Since there is a strong emphasis on those aspects of the theory that are particularly important for interpretive inquiries, it does not replace an introduction to QFT as such. One main group of target readers are philosophers who want to get a first impression of some issues that may be of interest for their own work, another target group are physicists who are interested in a philosophical view upon QFT. (shrink)
Quantumfieldtheory (QFT) presents a genuine example of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. There are variants of QFT—for example, the standard textbook formulation and the rigorous axiomatic formulation—that are empirically indistinguishable yet support different interpretations. This case is of particular interest to philosophers of physics because, before the philosophical work of interpreting QFT can proceed, the question of which variant should be subject to interpretation must be settled. New arguments are offered for basing (...) the interpretation of QFT on a rigorous axiomatic variant of the theory. The pivotal considerations are the roles that consistency and idealization play in this case. *Received June 2009; revised August 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada; e‐mail: [email protected] (shrink)
Quantum mechanics is a subject that has captured the imagination of a surprisingly broad range of thinkers, including many philosophers of science. Quantumfieldtheory, however, is a subject that has been discussed mostly by physicists. This is the first book to present quantumfieldtheory in a manner that makes it accessible to philosophers. Because it presents a lucid view of the theory and debates that surround the theory, An Interpretive (...) Introduction to QuantumFieldTheory will interest students of physics as well as students of philosophy. -/- Paul Teller presents the basic ideas of quantumfieldtheory in a way that is understandable to readers who are familiar with non-relativistic quantum mechanics. He provides information about the physics of the theory without calculational detail, and he enlightens readers on how to think about the theory physically. Along the way, he dismantles some popular myths and clarifies the novel ways in which quantumfieldtheory is both a theory about fields and about particles. His goal is to raise questions about the philosophical implications of the theory and to offer some tentative interpretive views of his own. This provocative and thoughtful book challenges philosophers to extend their thinking beyond the realm of quantum mechanics and it challenges physicists to consider the philosophical issues that their explorations have encouraged. (shrink)
The availability of unitarily inequivalent representations of the canonical commutation relations constituting a quantization of a classical fieldtheory raises questions about how to formulate and pursue quantumfieldtheory. In a minimally technical way, I explain how these questions arise and how advocates of the Hilbert space and of the algebraic approaches to quantumtheory might answer them. Where these answers differ, I sketch considerations for and against each approach, as well as (...) considerations which might temper their apparent rivalry. (shrink)
The metaphysical commitments of quantumfieldtheory are examined. A thesis of underdetermination as between field and particle approaches to the "elementary particles" is argued for but only if a disputed notion of transcendental individuality is admitted. The superiority of the field approach is further emphasized in the context of heuristics.
According to a Received View, relativistic quantumfield theories (RQFTs) do not admit particle interpretations. This view requires that particles be localizable and countable, and that these characteristics be given mathematical expression in the forms of local and unique total number operators. Various results (the Reeh-Schlieder theorem, the Unruh Effect, Haag's theorem) then indicate that formulations of RQFTs do not support such operators. These results, however, do not hold for nonrelativistic QFTs. I argue that this is due to (...) the absolute structure of the classical spacetimes associated with such theories. This suggests that the intuitions that underlie the Received View are non-relativistic. Thus, to the extent that such intuitions are inappropriate in the relativistic context, they should be abandoned when it comes to interpreting RQFTs. (shrink)
Quantumfieldtheory, one of the most rapidly developing areas of contemporary physics, is full of problems of great theoretical and philosophical interest. This collection of essays is the first systematic exploration of the nature and implications of quantumfieldtheory. The contributors discuss quantumfieldtheory from a wide variety of standpoints, exploring in detail its mathematical structure and metaphysical and methodological implications.
I examine some problems standing in the way of a successful `field interpretation' of quantumfieldtheory. The most popular extant proposal depends on the Hilbert space of `wavefunctionals.' But since wavefunctional space is unitarily equivalent to many-particle Fock space, two of the most powerful arguments against particle interpretations also undermine this form of field interpretation. IntroductionField Interpretations and Field OperatorsThe Wavefunctional InterpretationFields and Inequivalent Representations 4.1. The Rindler representation 4.2. Spontaneous symmetry breaking 4.3. (...) Coherent representations The Fate of Fields in Interacting QFTConclusions. (shrink)
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. Quantumfieldtheory (QFT) provides the framework for some of the (...) best confirmed theories in science, but debates over its ontology are vexed. Rather than taking a stand on these matters, the structural realist can embrace QFT as an example of just the kind of theory SR should lead us to expect. Yet, it is not clear that QFT meets the structuralist's positive expectation by providing a structure for the world. In particular, the problem of unitarily inequivalent representations threatens to undermine the possibility of QFT providing a unique structure for the world. In response to this problem, I suggest that the structuralist should endorse pluralism about structure. (shrink)
This document is a set of notes I took on QFT as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, mainly inspired in lectures by Burt Ovrut, but also working through Peskin and Schroeder (1995), as well as David Tong’s lecture notes available online. They take a slow pedagogical approach to introducing classical fieldtheory, Noether’s theorem, the principles of quantum mechanics, scattering theory, and culminating in the derivation of Feynman diagrams.
If we divide our physical theories into theories of matter and theories of spacetime, quantumfieldtheory is our most fundamental empirically successful theory of matter. As such, it has attracted increasing attention from philosophers over the past two decades, beginning to eclipse its predecessor theory of quantum mechanics in the philosophical literature. Here I survey some central philosophical puzzles about the theory's foundations.
This article explores the relationships between the philosophical foundations of quantumfieldtheory, the currently dominant form of quantum physics, and Deleuze's concept of the virtual, most especially in relation to the idea of chaos found in Deleuze and Guattari's What is Philosophy?. Deleuze and Guattari appear to derive this idea partly from the philosophical conceptuality of quantumfieldtheory, in particular the concept of virtual particle formation. The article then goes on to (...) discuss, from this perspective, the relationships between philosophy and science, and between their respective ways of confronting chaos, a great enemy but also a great friend of thought, and its greatest ally in its struggle against opinion. (shrink)
The theoretical physicist Paul Dirac rejected, explicitly on aesthetic grounds, a successful theory known as quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is the prototype for the family of theories known as quantumfield theories (QFTs). Remarkably, the theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg, also largely on aesthetic grounds, supports QED and other QFTs. In order to evaluate these opposing aesthetic views a short introduction to the physical properties of QFTs is presented together with a detailed analysis of the aesthetic claims (...) of Dirac and Weinberg. It turns out that Dirac rejected QED, without regard to its success, because this theory fails to yield to what he perceived as beautiful mathematics, whereas Weinberg's support of QFTs is founded primarily on the physical concepts of the theories. In particular, he relies on symmetries that are the basis for the construction of the extremely successful current fundamental theories of particles physics. This success was decisive in leading to Weinberg's conviction of the beauty of QFTs. As a result of the evaluation of these approaches, the factors causing scientists to perceive a theory as being a fundamentally beautiful theory are discussed in detail. (shrink)
After leading to a new axiomatic derivation of quantumtheory, the new informational paradigm is entering the domain of quantumfieldtheory, suggesting a quantum automata framework that can be regarded as an extension of quantumfieldtheory to including an hypothetical Planck scale, and with the usual quantumfieldtheory recovered in the relativistic limit of small wave-vectors. Being derived from simple principles, the automata theory is (...)quantum ab-initio, and does not assume Lorentz covariance and mechanical notions. Being discrete it can describe localized states and measurements, solving all the issues plaguing fieldtheory originated from the continuum. These features make the theory an ideal framework for quantum gravity, with relativistic covariance and space-time emergent solely from the interactions, and not assumed a priori. The paper presents a synthetic derivation of the automata theory, showing how the principles lead to a description in terms of a quantum automaton over a Cayley graph of a group. Restricting to Abelian groups we show how the automata recover the Weyl, Dirac and Maxwell dynamics in the relativistic limit. We conclude with some new routes about the more general scenario of non-Abelian Cayley graphs. The phenomenology arising from the automata theory in the ultra-relativistic domain and the analysis of corresponding distorted Lorentz covariance is reviewed in Bisio et al. (shrink)
Much attention has been directed to the philosophical implications of quantumfieldtheory (QFT) in recent years; this paper attempts a survey in low-technical terms. First the relations of QFT to other kinds of theory, classical and quantum, particle and field, are discussed. Then various formulations of QFT are introduced, along with related interpretations. Finally a review is made of some of the most interesting foundational problems.
Primitive ontology is a recently much discussed approach to the ontology of quantumtheory according to which the theory is ultimately about entities in 3-dimensional space and their temporal evolution. This paper critically discusses the primitive ontologies that have been suggested within the Bohmian approach to quantumfieldtheory in the light of the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations. These primitive ontologies rely either on a Fock space representation or a wave functional representation, which (...) are strictly speaking unambiguously available only for free systems in flat spacetime. As a consequence, it is argued that they do not constitute fundamental ontologies for quantumfieldtheory, in contrast to the case of the Bohmian approach to quantum mechanics. (shrink)
Ontic structural realism refers to the novel, exciting, and widely discussed basic idea that the structure of physical reality is genuinely relational. In its radical form, the doctrine claims that there are, in fact, no objects but only structure, i.e., relations. More moderate approaches state that objects have only relational but no intrinsic properties. In its most moderate and most tenable form, ontic structural realism assumes that at the most fundamental level of physical reality there are only relational properties. This (...) means that the most fundamental objects only possess relational but no non-reducible intrinsic properties. The present paper will argue that our currently best physics refutes even this most moderate form of ontic structural realism. More precisely, I will claim that 1) according to quantumfieldtheory, the most fundamental objects of matter are quantum fields and not particles, and show that 2) according to the Standard Model, quantum fields have intrinsic non-relational properties. (shrink)
Axiomatic quantumfieldtheory is one approach to the project of merging the special theory of relativity with that of ordinary quantum mechanics. The project begins with the postulation of a set of axioms. Axioms should be motivated by reasonable physical principles in a way that illustrates how a given axiom is true. Motivations are often grounded in the principles of the parent theories: ordinary quantum mechanics or the theory of special relativity. Amongst (...) the set of axioms first proposed by Haag and Kastler in 1963 is the axiom of microcausality. Microcausality requires the observables of regions at space-like separation to commute. This thesis seeks to answer the question ‘What principles from the special theory of relativity or ordinary quantum mechanics motivate, or justify, accepting microcausality as an axiom?’ The first chapter will provide the necessary background to investigate this question and the second chapter will undertake that investigation. In conclusion, microcausality cannot be well-motivated by individual principles rooted in the special theory of relativity or ordinary quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In  John S. Bell proposed how to associate particle trajectories with a lattice quantumfieldtheory, yielding what can be regarded as a |Ψ|2-distributed Markov process on the appropriate configuration space. A similar process can be defined in the continuum, for more or less any regularized quantumfieldtheory; such processes we call Bell-type quantumfield theories. We describe methods for explicitly constructing these processes. These concern, in addition to the definition (...) of the Markov processes, the efficient calculation of jump rates, how to obtain the process from the processes corresponding to the free and interaction Hamiltonian alone, and how to obtain the free process from the free Hamiltonian or, alternatively, from the one-particle process by a construction analogous to “second quantization.” As an example, we consider the process for a second quantized Dirac field in an external electromagnetic field. (shrink)
This paper critically discusses an objection proposed by Nikolić against the naturalness of the stochastic dynamics implemented by the Bell-type quantumfieldtheory, an extension of Bohmian mechanics able to describe the phenomena of particles creation and annihilation. Here I present: Nikolić’s ideas for a pilot-wave theory accounting for QFT phenomenology evaluating the robustness of his criticism, Bell’s original proposal for a Bohmian QFT with a particle ontology and the mentioned Bell-type QFT. I will argue that (...) although Bell’s model should be interpreted as a heuristic example showing the possibility to extend Bohm’s pilot-wave theory to the domain of QFT, the same judgement does not hold for the Bell-type QFT, which is candidate to be a promising possible alternative proposal to the standard version of quantumfieldtheory. Finally, contra Nikolić, I will provide arguments in order to show how a stochastic dynamics is perfectly compatible with a Bohmian quantumtheory. (shrink)
In the first part I argue that Buddhism and Hinduism can be unified by a Pure Consciousness thesis, which says that the nature of ultimate reality is an unconditioned and pure consciousness and that the phenomenal world is a mere appearance of pure consciousness. In the second part I argue that the Pure Consciousness thesis can be supported by an argument from quantum physics. According to our best scientific theories, the fundamental nature of reality consists of quantum fields, (...) and it seems that quantum fields have merely particle-like appearances—particles seem to be mere epiphenomena. This interpretation can be generalized. There appear to be individual entities, small and large, and their ontological reality is precisely what it appears to be—they are mere appearances. (shrink)
Many attempts have been made to provide QuantumFieldTheory 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 discussion of its principal implications and consequences, we compare it with the main Bohmian QFTs implementing a particle ontology. (shrink)
The status of the vacuum in relativistic quantumfieldtheory is examined. A sharp distinction arises between the global vacuum and the local vacuum. The concept of local number density is critically assessed. The global vacuum state implies fluctuations for all local observables. Correlations between such fluctuations in space-like separated regions of space-time are discussed and the existence of correlations which are maximal in a certain sense is remarked on, independently of how far apart those regions may (...) be. The analogy with the mirror-image correlations in the singlet state of two spin-1/2 particles is explained. The connection between these maximal correlations and the well-known violation of the Bell inequality in the vacuum state is discussed, together with the way in which the existence of these correlations might be exploited in developing a vacuum version of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen argument. The recent relativistic formulation of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen argument by Ghirardi and Grassi is critically assessed with particular reference to the vacuum case. (shrink)
An examination is made of the way in which particles emerge from linear, bosonic, massive quantumfield 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.
Philosophical accounts of quantumtheory commonly suppose that the observables of a quantum system form a Type-I factor von Neumann algebra. Such algebras always have atoms, which are minimal projection operators in the case of quantum mechanics. However, relativistic quantumfieldtheory and the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics make extensive use of von Neumann algebras of more general types. This chapter addresses the question whether interpretations of quantum probability devised (...) in the usual manner continue to apply in the more general setting. Features of non-type I factor von Neumann algebras are cataloged. It is shown that these novel features do not cause the familiar formalism of quantum probability to falter, since Gleason's Theorem and the Lüders Rule can be generalized. However, the features render the problem of the interpretation of quantum probability more intricate. (shrink)
We propose a QuantumFieldTheory description of beams on a Mach–Zehnder interferometer and apply the method to describe Interaction Free Measurements, concluding that there is a change of momentum of the fields in IFMs. Analysing the factors involved in the probability of emission of low-energy photons, we argue that they do not yield meaningful contributions to the probabilities of the IFMs.
Examining relativistic quantumfieldtheory we claim that its description of subnuclear phenomena can be understood most adequately from a semiotic point of view. The paper starts off with a concise and non-technical outline of the firmly based aspects of relativistic quantumfield theories. The particular methods, by which these different aspects have to be accessed, can be described as distinct facets of quantumfieldtheory. They differ with respect to the relation (...) between quantum fields and associated particles, and, as we shall argue, should be interpreted as complementary (semiotic) codes. Viewing physical theories as symbolic constructions already came to the fore in the middle of the nineteenth century with the emancipation of the classical theory of the electromagnetic field from mechanics; most notably, as we will point out, with the work of Helmholtz, Hertz, Poincaré, and later on Weyl. Since the epistemological questions posed there are heightened with regard to quantumfieldtheory, we considerably widen their approach and relate it to recent discussions in the philosophy of science, like structural realism and quasi-autonomous domains. (shrink)
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 quantumfieldtheory formalism.
This paper explores various functions of idealizations in quantumfieldtheory. To this end it is important to first distinguish between different kinds of theories and models of or inspired by quantumfieldtheory. Idealizations have pragmatic and cognitive functions. Analyzing a case-study from hadron physics, I demonstrate the virtues of studying highly idealized models for exploring the features of theories with an extremely rich structure such as quantumfieldtheory and (...) for gaining some understanding of the physical processes in the system under consideration. (shrink)
This paper surveys the issue of relativistic causality within the framework of algebraic quantumfieldtheory . In doing so, we distinguish various notions of causality formulated in the literature and study their relationships, and thereby we offer what we hope to be a useful taxonomy. We propose that the most direct expression of relativistic causality in AQFT is captured not by the spectrum condition but rather by the axiom of local primitive causality, in that it entails (...) a form of local determinism for quantum fields which generalizes the constraint of no superluminal propagation of classical field theories to relativistic quantumfieldtheory. We discuss the status of the axiom of micro-causality by locating its place within a large family of separability/independence/locality conditions developed for AQFT and also by relating it to so-called no-signalling theorems. And we also provide a critical survey of attempts to understand the implications for relativistic causality of the distant correlations endemic to the states in models of AQFT satisfying the standard axioms, and we provide an assessment of attempts to employ Reichenbach's common cause principle in AQFT to defuse worries that these distant correlations implicate direct causal connections between relatively spacelike events. (shrink)
Free and weakly interacting particles are described by a second-quantized nonlinear Schrödinger equation, or relativistic versions of it. They describe Gaussian random walks with collisions. By contrast, the fields of strongly interacting particles are governed by effective actions, whose extremum yields fractional field equations. Their particle orbits perform universal Lévy walks with heavy tails, in which rare events are much more frequent than in Gaussian random walks. Such rare events are observed in exceptionally strong windgusts, monster or rogue waves, (...) earthquakes, and financial crashes. While earthquakes may destroy entire cities, the latter have the potential of devastating entire economies. (shrink)
AUTHOR: STAN GUDDER (John Evans Professor of Mathematical Physics, University of Denver, USA) -- -/- We consider a discrete scalar, quantumfieldtheory 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 unit probability, the transition probabilities need to be reconditioned at each (x0,r). This is roughly analogous to renormalization in standard quantumfieldtheory, except no infinities or singularities are involved. We illustrate this theory with a simple scattering experiment involving a common interaction Hamiltonian. We briefly mention how discreteness of space-time might be tested astronomically. Moreover, these tests may explain the existence of dark energy and dark matter. (shrink)
In this paper we critically review the various attempts that have been made to understand quantumfieldtheory. We focus on Teller's (1990) harmonic oscillator interpretation, and Bohm et al.'s (1987) causal interpretation. The former unabashedly aims to be a purely heuristic account, but we show that it is only interestingly applicable to the free bosonic field. Along the way we suggest alternative models. Bohm's interpretation provides an ontology for the theory--a classical field, with (...) a quantum equation of motion. This too has problems; it is not Lorentz invariant. (shrink)
We propose the quantumfield 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 between the probability and condition probability at different times is no more valid. We have formulated the chain relation of successive transition for transition probability of the quantum Markov process instead of classical Chapman–Kolmogorov equation. The master equation is valid only in a classical Markov process. We have derived Euler-Lagrange equation in operator form as a characteristic equation of motion for the evolution of particle states as a Markov process. (shrink)
This paper discusses a claim by Clifton and Halvorson (2001) that, contrary to non-relativistic quantum mechanics, local operations can never destroy entanglement in relativistic quantumfieldtheory. The impossibility of achieving local disentanglement would raise a threat for the mutual independence between microscopic subsystems. Here, we observe that Clifton and Halvorson no-go result rests on an unnecessarily strong notion of local operations, which we label absolutely local operations, and we argue that a weaker notion, namely that (...) of relatively local operations, is sufficient to guarantee that acting on one subsystem does not have non-local effects on another spacelike separated subsystem. We then show that one can achieve local disentanglement in relativistic quantumfieldtheory by means of relatively local operations. In fact, we prove that, under the split property, there exists a class of disentangling relatively local operations. (shrink)
According to a regnant criterion of physical equivalence for quantum theories, a quantumfieldtheory (QFT) typically admits continuously many physically inequivalent realizations. This, the second of a two-part introduction to topics in the philosophy of QFT, continues the investigation of this alarming circumstance. It begins with a brief catalog of quantumfield theoretic examples of this non-uniqueness, then presents the basics of the algebraic approach to quantum theories, which discloses a structure common (...) even to ‘physically inequivalent’ realizations of a QFT. Finally, it introduces and evaluates a handful of strategies for interpreting quantum theories in the face of the non-uniqueness of their Hilbert space representations. (shrink)
We discuss the fate of the correspondence principle beyond quantum mechanics, specifically in quantumfieldtheory and quantum gravity, in connection with the intrinsic limitations of the human ability to observe the external world. We conclude that the best correspondence principle is made of unitarity, locality, proper renormalizability (a refinement of strict renormalizability), combined with fundamental local symmetries and the requirement of having a finite number of fields. Quantum gravity is identified in an essentially (...) unique way. The gauge interactions are uniquely identified in form. Instead, the matter sector remains basically unrestricted. The major prediction is the violation of causality at small distances. (shrink)
I argue against the currently prevalent view that algebraic quantumfieldtheory (AQFT) is the correct framework for philosophy of quantumfieldtheory and that “conventional” quantumfieldtheory (CQFT), of the sort used in mainstream particle physics, is not suitable for foundational study. In doing so, I defend that position that AQFT and CQFT should be understood as rival programs to resolve the mathematical and physical pathologies of renormalization theory, (...) and that CQFT has succeeded in this task and AQFT has failed. I also defend CQFT from recent criticisms made by Doreen Fraser. (shrink)