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Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories?

Franklin, Alexander (2017) Whence the Effectiveness of Effective Field Theories? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Effective Quantum Field Theories (EFTs) are effective insofar as they apply within a prescribed range of length-scales, but within that range they predict and describe with extremely high accuracy and precision. The effectiveness of EFTs is explained by identifying the features – the scaling behaviour of the parameters – which lead to effectiveness. The explanation relies on distinguishing autonomy with respect to changes in microstates, from autonomy with respect to changes in microlaws, and relating these, respectively, to renormalisability and naturalness. It is claimed that the effectiveness of EFTs is a consequence of each theory’s microstate-autonomy rather than its microlaw-autonomy.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Franklin, Alexanderalexander.a.franklin@kcl.ac.uk
Additional Information: Accepted in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Keywords: effective field theory, renormalization, renormalizability, emergence, autonomy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Mr Alexander Franklin
Date Deposited: 23 May 2018 14:34
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 14:34
Item ID: 14705
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 30 October 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14705

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