Explaining Universality: Infinite Limit Systems in the Renormalization Group Method

Synthese (5-6):14897-14930 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


I analyze the role of infinite idealizations used in the renormalization group (RG hereafter) method in explaining universality across microscopically different physical systems in critical phenomena. I argue that despite the reference to infinite limit systems such as systems with infinite correlation lengths during the RG process, the key to explaining universality in critical phenomena need not involve infinite limit systems. I develop my argument by introducing what I regard as the explanatorily relevant property in RG explanations: linearization* property; I then motivate and prove a proposition about the linearization* property in support of my view. As a result, infinite limit systems in RG explanations are dispensable.

Author's Profile

Jingyi Wu
London School of Economics


Added to PP

254 (#43,159)

6 months
77 (#21,236)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?