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Interpreting Quantum Theories$
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Laura Ruetsche

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199535408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199535408.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

Particles and the Void

Particles and the Void

(p.221) 10 Particles and the Void
Interpreting Quantum Theories

Laura Ruetsche

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers, and finds wanting, several responses to the challenge Chapter 9 announces to interpretations which equip quantum field theory with a particle ontology. One response appeals to the Hadamard condition, a condition states of the quantum field must satisfy to admit an ascription of stress-energy, and so fall within the ambit of semi-classical quantum gravity. The chapter charges that this response constrains physical possibility more stringently than suits creative physics, which makes explanatory and developmental use of states the response brands as unphysical. The charge, that rigid interpretive principles hamstring active physics, is further illustrated by means of coherent states, central to quantum optics and the modeling of certain scattering experiments, but proscribed by apparently reasonable rigid principles of interpretation.

Keywords:   quantum field theory, particle, ontology, semi-classical quantum gravity, symmetry, Hadamard condition, Hawking effect, Unruh effect, coherent states

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