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On the interpretation of Feynman diagrams, or, did the LHC experiments observe Hγγ?

  • Oliver PassonEmail author
Paper in Philosophy of the Natural Sciences

Abstract

According to the received view Feynman diagrams are a bookkeeping device in complex perturbative calculations. Thus, they do not provide a representation or model of the underlying physical process. This view is in apparent tension with scientific practice in high energy physics, which analyses its data in terms of “channels”. For example the Higgs discovery was based on the observation of the decay Hγγ – a process which can be easily represented by the corresponding Feynman diagrams. I take issue with this tension and show that on closer analysis the story of the Higgs discovery should be told differently.

Keywords

Feynman diagrams Quantum field theory Virtual particles Higgs discovery 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Robert Harlander, Tilman Plehn and Thomas Zügge for illuminating discussions and helpful comments. The valueable suggestions by the referees and the editors are gratefully acknowledge as well as the proof reading of Joan P. Marler.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematics and Natural SciencesUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany

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