Calderón, Francisco (2024) The Causal Axioms of Algebraic Quantum Field Theory: A Diagnostic. [Preprint]
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Abstract
Algebraic quantum field theory (AQFT) puts forward three ``causal axioms'' that aim to characterize the theory as one that implements relativistic causation: the spectrum condition, microcausality, and primitive causality. In this paper, I aim to show, in a minimally technical way, that none of them fully explains the notion of causation appropriate for AQFT because they only capture some of the desiderata for relativistic causation I state or because it is often unclear how each axiom implements its respective desideratum. After this diagnostic, I will show that a fourth condition, local primitive causality (LPC), fully characterizes relativistic causation in the sense of fulfilling all the relevant desiderata. However, it only encompasses the virtues of the other axioms because it is implied by them, as I will show from a construction by Haag and Schroer (1962). Since the conjunction of the three causal axioms implies LPC and other important results in QFT that LPC does not imply, and since LPC helps clarify some of the shortcomings of the three axioms, I advocate for a holistic interpretation of how the axioms characterize the causal structure of AQFT against the strategy in the literature to rivalize the axioms and privilege one among them.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Additional Information:  Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory 

Depositing User:  Francisco Calderón  
Date Deposited:  10 Mar 2024 01:49  
Last Modified:  07 Nov 2024 13:22  
Item ID:  23172  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Field Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory 

Date:  March 2024  
URI:  https://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/23172 
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The Causal Axioms of Algebraic Quantum Field Theory: A Diagnostic. (deposited 14 Sep 2022 14:48)
 The Causal Axioms of Algebraic Quantum Field Theory: A Diagnostic. (deposited 10 Mar 2024 01:49) [Currently Displayed]
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