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The Structure and Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory

Miller, Michael (2017) The Structure and Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Quantum field theory accurately describes the world on the finest scales to which we have empirical access. There has been significant disagreement, however,about which mathematical structures ought to be taken as constitutive of the theory, and thus over which structures should serve as the basis for its interpretation. Perturbative methods allow for successful empirical prediction but require
mathematical manipulations that are at odds with the canonical approach to interpreting physical theories that has been passed down from the logical positivists. Axiomatic characterizations of the theory, on the other hand, have not been shown to admit empirically interesting models. This dissertation shows how to understand the empirical success of quantum field theory by reconsidering
widely held commitments about how physical meaning accrues to mathematical structure.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Miller, Michaelmichael.earl.miller@gmail.commem2080000-0003-1144-9711
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBatterman, Robertrbatterm@pitt.edurbatterm
Committee MemberNorton, Johnjdnorton@pitt.edujdnorton
Committee MemberEarman, Johnjearman@pitt.edujearman
Committee MemberWilson, Markmawilson@pitt.edumawilson
Committee MemberBelot, Gordonbelot@umich.edu
Committee MemberRuetsche, Lauraruetsche@umich.edu
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 April 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 20 July 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 120
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quantum field theory, ultraviolet divergences, infrared divergences, large-order divergences, empirical adequacy, structure of scientific theories
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 21:44
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 21:44
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/32818

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