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On the Renormalisation Group Explanation of Universality

Franklin, Alexander (2017) On the Renormalisation Group Explanation of Universality. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It is commonly claimed that the universality of critical phenomena is explained through particular applications of the renormalisation group. This paper has three aims: to clarify the structure of the explanation of universality; to discuss the physics of such renormalisation group explanations; and to examine the extent to which universality is thus explained.

The derivation of critical exponents proceeds via a real-space or a field-theoretic approach to the renormalisation group. Building on Mainwood (2006), this paper argues that these approaches ought to be distinguished: while the field-theoretic approach explains universality, the real-space approach fails to provide an adequate explanation.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Franklin, Alexanderalexander.a.franklin@kcl.ac.uk
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Emergence, reduction, renormalization, renormalisation, universality, explanation, minimal models
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Mr Alexander Franklin
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2017 14:26
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2017 14:26
Item ID: 13109
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Condensed Matter
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13109

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