Taking particle physics seriously: A critique of the algebraic approach to quantum field theory

Citation data:

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, ISSN: 1355-2198, Vol: 42, Issue: 2, Page: 116-125

Publication Year:
2011
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8890
DOI:
10.1016/j.shpsb.2010.12.001
Author(s):
Wallace, David
Publisher(s):
Elsevier BV
Tags:
Arts and Humanities; Physics and Astronomy
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article description
I argue against the currently prevalent view that algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) is the correct framework for philosophy of quantum field theory and that “conventional” quantum field theory (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.