Renormalizability, fundamentality and a final theory: The role of UV-completion in the search for quantum gravity

Citation data:

The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13219
Author(s):
Crowther, Karen; Linnemann, Niels
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article description
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 the reasons for expecting, or desiring, a UV-complete theory, as well as analyse how UV completion is used, and how it should be used, in various specific approaches to QG.