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Taking particle physics seriously, David Wallace

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Uploaded on Apr 25, 2011

Full title: Taking particle physics seriously: a critique of the algebraic approach to the foundations of QFT

The working assumption amongst most philosophers of QFT appears to be that algebraic QFT (AQFT), and not the "Lagrangian" QFT of the working physicist, is the proper object of philosophical and foundational study. I argue that this assumption is unmotivated, and fails to take into account important features of the post-1960s development of Lagrangian QFT. From a modern perspective the two forms of QFT are better seen as rival research programs than as variant formulations of one theory; furthermore, the Lagrangian research program is overwhelmingly supported by experiment.

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