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Physics > History and Philosophy of Physics

Title: Interpreting Theories without a Spacetime

Abstract: In this paper we have two aims: first, to draw attention to the close connexion between interpretation and scientific understanding; second, to give a detailed account of how theories without a spacetime can be interpreted, and so of how they can be understood.
In order to do so, we of course need an account of what is meant by a theory `without a spacetime': which we also provide in this paper.
We describe three tools, used by physicists, aimed at constructing interpretations which are adequate for the goal of understanding. We analyse examples from high-energy physics illustrating how physicists use these tools to construct interpretations and thereby attain understanding. The examples are: the 't Hooft approximation of gauge theories, random matrix models, causal sets, loop quantum gravity, and group field theory.
Comments: 41 pages, 1 figure, forthcoming in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Subjects: History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.06963 [physics.hist-ph]
  (or arXiv:1803.06963v1 [physics.hist-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Sebastian De Haro [view email]
[v1] Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:48:48 GMT (63kb,D)