Grinbaum, Alexei (2017) The Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics of the Unknown. [Preprint]
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Abstract
If physics is a science that unveils the fundamental laws of nature, then the appearance of mathematical concepts in its language can be surprising or even mysterious. This was Eugene Wigner's argument in 1960. I show that another approach to physical theory accommodates mathematics in a perfectly reasonable way. To explore unknown processes or phenomena, one builds a theory from fundamental principles, employing them as constraints within a general mathematical framework. The rise of such theories of the unknown, which I call blackbox models, drives home the unsurprising effectiveness of mathematics. I illustrate it on the examples of Einstein's principle theories, the $S$matrix approach in quantum field theory, effective field theories, and deviceindependent approaches in quantum information.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Keywords:  Mathematics; physics; Wigner; Einstein; principle theory; Smatrix; effective field theory; deviceindependence; unknown  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics 

Depositing User:  Alexei Grinbaum  
Date Deposited:  11 Jul 2017 14:18  
Last Modified:  11 Jul 2017 14:18  
Item ID:  13191  
DOI or Unique Handle:  10.1007/s1122901714900  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics 

Date:  2017  
URI:  http://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13191 
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The Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics of the Unknown. (deposited 31 Mar 2017 14:18)

The Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics of the Unknown. (deposited 04 Jul 2017 20:32)
 The Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics of the Unknown. (deposited 11 Jul 2017 14:18) [Currently Displayed]

The Effectiveness of Mathematics in Physics of the Unknown. (deposited 04 Jul 2017 20:32)
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