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The Practice of Naturalness: A Historical-Philosophical Perspective

Borrelli, Arianna and Castellani, Elena (2019) The Practice of Naturalness: A Historical-Philosophical Perspective. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The fact that no evidence of "new physics" was found so far by LHC experiments has led some to call for the abandonment of the "naturalness" criterion. Others, on the contrary, have felt the need to break a lance in its defense by claiming that it should not be dismissed too quickly, but rather only reshaped to fit new needs.
In this paper we argue that present pro-or-contra naturalness debates often miss an important historical point: that naturalness is essentially a hazily defined notion which, in the course of more than four decades, has been steadily, and often not coherently, shaped by its interplay with different branches of model-building in high-energy physics and cosmology on the one side, and new experimental results on the other side. The paper endeavours to clear up some of the physical and philosophical haze by taking a closer look back at the origin of naturalness in the 1970s and ‘80s, with particular attention to the early work of Kenneth Wilson.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Borrelli, Arianna
Castellani, Elenaelena.castellani@unifi.it0000-0001-5314-0179
Additional Information: Forthcoming in "Foundations of Physics"
Keywords: historical contextualization; naturalness; Renormalization Group; Kenneth Wilson; Naturalness; Renormalization Group; Kenneth Wilson; BSM physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Elena Castellani
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2019 15:47
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2019 15:47
Item ID: 15848
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: March 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15848

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