This text presents an intuitive and robust mathematical image of fundamental particle physics based on a novel approach to quantum field theory, which is guided by four carefully motivated metaphysical postulates. In particular, the book explores a dissipative approach to quantum field theory, which is illustrated for scalar field theory and quantum electrodynamics, and proposes an attractive explanation of the Planck scale in quantum gravity. Offering a radically new perspective on this topic, the book focuses on the conceptual foundations of quantum field theory and ontological questions. It also suggests a new stochastic simulation technique in quantum field theory which is complementary to existing ones. Encouraging rigor in a field containing many mathematical subtleties and pitfalls this text is a helpful companion for students of physics and philosophers interested in quantum field theory, and it allows readers to gain an intuitive rather than a formal understanding.
Applies philosophical ideas to develop a new and unique perspective on various approaches to quantum field theory
Challenges and supports the reader in recognizing the conceptual foundations of quantum field theory
Formulates quantum field theory in the setting of irreversible dynamics to account for particle creation and annihilation processes that are completely beyond our control
Hans Christian Öttinger is Professor of Polymer Physics at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich (ETH Zürich). His research is focused on developing a general framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics as a tool for describing dissipative classical and quantum systems.
1. Approach to quantum field theory
2. Scalar field theory
3. Quantum electrodynamics
Appendix A. An efficient perturbation scheme
Appendix B. Properties of Dirac matrices
Appendix C. Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff formulas