Foundations of Physics

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 453–466 | Cite as

Particles, Cutoffs and Inequivalent Representations

Fraser and Wallace on Quantum Field Theory
  • Matthias Egg
  • Vincent Lam
  • Andrea OldofrediEmail author


We critically review the recent debate between Doreen Fraser and David Wallace on the interpretation of quantum field theory, with the aim of identifying where the core of the disagreement lies. We show that, despite appearances, their conflict does not concern the existence of particles or the occurrence of unitarily inequivalent representations. Instead, the dispute ultimately turns on the very definition of what a quantum field theory is. We further illustrate the fundamental differences between the two approaches by comparing them both to the Bohmian program in quantum field theory.


Algebraic quantum field theory Particle physics Renormalization Unitarily inequivalent representations 



VL is grateful to the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial support (Project No. 169313).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of BernBern 9Switzerland
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of GenevaGenève 4Switzerland
  3. 3.School of Historical and Philosophical InquiryThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  4. 4.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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