PhilSci Archive

Mathematical Rigor in Physics: Putting Exact Results in Their Place

Gelfert, Axel (2005) Mathematical Rigor in Physics: Putting Exact Results in Their Place. In: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers. (In Press)

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (197Kb) | Preview

    Abstract

    The present paper examines the role of exact results in the theory of many-body physics, and specifically the example of the Mermin-Wagner theorem, a rigorous result concerning the absence of phase transitions in low-dimensional systems. While the theorem has been shown to hold for a wide range of many-body models, it is frequently ‘violated’ by results derived from the same models using numerical techniques. This raises the question of how scientists regulate their theoretical commitments in such cases, given that the models, too, are often described as approximations to the underlying ‘full’ many-body problem.


    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Additional Information: This is the final version as it will appear in Philosophy of Science (Proceedings, PSA 2004).
    Keywords: rigorous results, mathematical rigor, condensed matter physics, phase transitions, many-body physics, statistical physics, models
    Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    Conferences and Volumes: [2004] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 19th Biennial Meeting - PSA2004: Contributed Papers (Austin, TX; 2004) > PSA 2004 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Axel Gelfert
    Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2160
    Public Domain: No
    Conference Date: 18-20 November 2004
    Conference Location: Austin, Texas
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2160

    Available Versions of this Item

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads