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String theory has played a highly influential role in theoretical physics for nearly three decades and has substantially altered our view of the elementary building principles of the Universe. However, the theory remains empirically unconfirmed, and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. So why do string theorists have such a strong belief in their theory? This book explores this question, offering a novel insight into the nature of theory assessment itself. Dawid approaches the topic from a unique (...) 

I analyse the conceptual and mathematical foundations of Lagrangian quantum field theory (QFT) (that is, the ‘naive’ (QFT) used in mainstream physics, as opposed to algebraic quantum field theory). The objective is to see whether Lagrangian (QFT) has a sufficiently firm conceptual and mathematical basis to be a legitimate object of foundational study, or whether it is too illdefined. The analysis covers renormalisation and infinities, inequivalent representations, and the concept of localised states; the conclusion is that Lagrangian QFT (at least (...) 

More often than not, recently popular structuralist interpretations of physical theories leave the central concept of a structure insufficiently precisified. The incipient causal sets approach to quantum gravity offers a paradigmatic case of a physical theory predestined to be interpreted in structuralist terms. It is shown how employing structuralism lends itself to a natural interpretation of the physical meaning of causal set theory. Conversely, the conceptually exceptionally clear case of causal sets is used as a foil to illustrate how a (...) 

I argue against the currentlyprevalent view in philosophy of physics that algebraic quantum field theory is the correct framework for philosophy of quantum field theory and that "conventional" quantum field theory, of the sort used in mainstream particle physics, is not suitable for foundational study. In doing so, I defend the position that AQFT and CQFT, understood in an appropriate sense, ought to be understood as rival programs to resolve the mathematical and physical pathologies of renormalization theory, and that CQFT (...) 

Research on quantum gravity has historically relied on appeals to guiding principles. This essay frames three such principles within the context of the condensed matter approach to QG. I first identify two distinct versions of this approach, and then consider the extent to which the principles of asymptotic safety, relative locality, and holography are supported by these versions. The general hope is that a focus on distinct versions of a single approach may provide insight into the conceptual and foundational significance (...) 

In this introduction, we describe the rationale behind this special issue on Principles of Quantum Gravity. We explain what we mean by ‘principles’ and relate this to the various contributions. Finally, we draw out some general themes that can be found running throughout these contributions. 

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 (...) 



Does the need to find a quantum theory of gravity imply that the gravitational field must be quantized? Physicists working in quantum gravity routinely assume an affirmative answer, often without being aware of the metaphysical commitments that tend to underlie this assumption. The ambition of this article is to probe these commitments and to analyze some recently adduced arguments pertinent to the issue of quantization. While there exist good reasons to quantize gravity, as this analysis will show, alternative approaches to (...) 

Further arguments are offered in defence of the position that the variant of quantum field theory (QFT) that should be subject to interpretation and foundational analysis is axiomatic quantum field theory. I argue that the successful application of renormalization group (RG) methods within alternative formulations of QFT illuminates the empirical content of QFT, but not the theoretical content. RG methods corroborate the point of view that QFT is a case of the underdetermination of theory by empirical evidence. I also urge (...) 

We have two aims. The main one is to expound the idea of renormalization in quantum field theory, with no technical prerequisites. Our motivation is that renormalization is undoubtedly one of the great ideas—and great successesof twentiethcentury physics. Also it has strongly influenced in diverse ways, how physicists conceive of physical theories. So it is of considerable philosophical interest. Second, we will briefly relate renormalization to Ernest Nagel's account of intertheoretic relations, especially reduction. One theme will be a contrast between (...) 

A book on the notion of fundamental length, covering issues in the philosophy of math, metaphysics, and the history and the philosophy of modern physics, from classical electrodynamics to current theories of quantum gravity. Published (2014) in Cambridge University Press. 



An Introduction to Quantum Field Theory is a textbook intended for the graduate physics course covering relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, and Feynman diagrams. The authors make these subjects accessible through carefully worked examples illustrating the technical aspects of the subject, and intuitive explanations of what is going on behind the mathematics. After presenting the basics of quantum electrodynamics, the authors discuss the theory of renormalization and its relation to statistical mechanics, and introduce the renormalization group. This discussion sets the (...) 

Since it was first published, Quantum Field Theory 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 uptodate and modern textbook on quantum field theory available. / This expanded edition features several additional chapters, as well as (...) 

Quantum gravity poses the problem of merging quantum mechanics and general relativity, the two great conceptual revolutions in the physics of the twentieth century. The loop and spinfoam approach, presented in this book, is one of the leading research programs in the field. The first part of the book discusses the reformulation of the basis of classical and quantum Hamiltonian physics required by general relativity. The second part covers the basic technical research directions. Appendices include a detailed history of the (...) 

Although the laws of thermodynamics are well established for black hole horizons, much less has been said in the literature to support the extension of these laws to more general settings such as an asymptotic de Sitter horizon or a Rindler horizon (the event horizon of an asymptotic uniformly accelerated observer). In the present paper we review the results that have been previously established and argue that the laws of black hole thermodynamics, as well as their underlying statistical mechanical content, (...) 