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Real virtuality and actual transitions: Historical reflections on virtual entities before Quantum Field Theory

Blum, Alexander and Jähnert, Martin (2024) Real virtuality and actual transitions: Historical reflections on virtual entities before Quantum Field Theory. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This paper studies the notion of virtuality in the Bohr-Kramers-Slater theory of 1924. We situate the virtual entities of BKS within the tradition of the correspondence principle and the radiation theory of the Bohr model. We show how, in this context, virtual oscillators emerged as classical substitute radiators and were used to describe the otherwise elusive quantum transitions. They played an effective role in the quantum theory of radiation while remaining categorically distinct and ontologically separated from the quantum world of the Bohr model. The notion of virtuality thus differs markedly from its counterpart in quantum mechanics or QFT.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Blum, Alexander
Jähnert, Martin
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email m.zichert@tu-berlin.de
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2024 09:17
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2024 09:17
Item ID: 23038
Official URL: https://direct.mit.edu/posc/article-abstract/doi/1...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1162/posc_a_00609
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
Date: 2024
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/23038

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