Matter and forces in quantum field theory – an attempt at a philosophical elucidation

I thought the following might be of general interest to readers of this blog. It’s a translation into English of an MSc thesis written by a certain Jon-Ivar Skullerud of the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University. I hasten to add that Dr Skullerud hasn’t just finished his MSc. It just appears that it has taken about 30 years to translate it from Norwegian into English!

Anyway, the English version is now available on the arXiv here. There isn’t really an abstract as such but the description on arXiv says:

This is a translation into English of my Masters thesis (hovedoppgave) from 1991. The main topic of the thesis is the relation between fundamental physics and philosophy, and a discussion of several possible ontologies of quantum field theory.

I note from here that hovedoppgave translates literally into English as “main task”.

I haven’t read this thesis from cover to cover yet – partly because it’s in digital form and doesn’t have any covers on it and partly because it’s 134 pages long –  but I’ve skimmed a few bits and it looks interesting.



5 Responses to “Matter and forces in quantum field theory – an attempt at a philosophical elucidation”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Ah, one of his advisers was K ̊are Olaussen. He wrote a paper with Carl Bender and Paul Wang on the WKB approximation. I was interested in WKB and the people who took it farthest were the Fromans in Uppsala.

  2. Anton Garrett Says:

    Capra’s book did not age well:

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      So did I !

    • telescoper Says:

      I’m embarrassed to say I actually bought it (when I was at school). ..

    • nannacecilie Says:

      In case someone is put off by the references to Capra: I did not not believe then, and do still not believe that there is any substance or merit to his links between particle physics and buddhist or taoist thinking, beyond mere analogies.

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