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Philosophical Implications of Kadanoff's work on the Renormalization Group

Batterman, Robert (2016) Philosophical Implications of Kadanoff's work on the Renormalization Group. Journal of Statistical Physics.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the consequences for our understanding of physical theories as a result of the development of the renormalization group. Kadanoff's assessment of these consequences is discussed. What he called the ``extended singularity theorem'' (that phase transitons only can occur in infinite systems) poses serious difficulties for philosophical interpretation of theories. Several responses are discussed. The resolution demands a philosophical rethinking of the role of mathematics in physical theorizing.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Batterman, Robertrbatterm@pitt.edu
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10955-016-1659-9.
Keywords: Kadanoff, renormalization group, statistical mechanics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Mr. Michael E. Miller
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 00:10
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 15:33
Item ID: 12583
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Statistical Physics
Official URL: http://rdcu.be/mrCh
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10955-016-1659-9
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 1 November 2016
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12583

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