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Renormalization Scrutinized

Rivat, Sébastien (2019) Renormalization Scrutinized. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. ISSN 1355-2198

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Abstract

In this paper, I propose a general framework for understanding renormalization by drawing on the distinction between effective and continuum Quantum Field Theories (QFTs), and offer a comprehensive account of perturbative renormalization on this basis. My central claim is that the effective approach to renormalization provides a more physically perspicuous, conceptually coherent and widely applicable framework to construct perturbative QFTs than the continuum approach. I also show how a careful comparison between the two approaches: (i) helps to dispel the mystery surrounding the success of the renormalization procedure; (ii) clarifies the various notions of renormalizability; and (iii) gives reasons to temper Butterfield and Bouatta's claim that some continuum QFTs are ripe for metaphysical inquiry (Butterfield and Bouatta, 2014).


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rivat, Sébastiensr3109@columbia.edu
Keywords: Renormalization; Renormalization Group; Effective Field Theories; Quantum Field Theory; High-Energy Physics.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Depositing User: Sébastien Rivat
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 14:03
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 14:03
Item ID: 16072
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI or Unique Handle: doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2019.04.006
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Date: 2019
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16072

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