. Quantum field theory combines quantum mechanics with the special theory of relativity and underlies elementary particle physics. This book presents a philosophical analysis of quantum field theory. It is the first treatise in which the philosophies of space-time, quantum phenomena, and particle interactions are encompassed in a unified framework. Describing the physics in nontechnical terms, and schematically illustrating complex ideas, the book also serves as an introduction to fundamental physical theories. The philosophical interpretation both upholds the reality of the quantum world and acknowledges the irreducible cognitive elements in its representation. The interpretation is based on an analysis of our ways of thinking as they are embedded in the logical structure of quantum field theory. The author argues that philosophical categories are significant only if they play active and essential roles in our knowledge and hence constitute part of the theories in actual use. Thus she regards physical theories as primary, extracts their categorical structure, and uses it to rethink key philosophical questions. Among the questions this book tries to answer are: What are the quantum properties independent of measurements? How do we refer to individual things in a continuous field? How do theories relate to objects? What are the general conditions of the world and our ways of thinking that make possible our knowledge of the microscopic realm, which is so intangible and counterintuitive? As a penetrating analysis of vital themes in contemporary science, the book will engage the interest of students and professionals in physics and philosophy alike.  


1. Introduction
§ 1. A Human View of the World in Quantum Field Theory
§ 2. The Categorical Framework of Objective Knowledge
2. Nonrelativistic Quantum Mechanics
§ 3. The Structure of Quantum Mechanics
§ 4. The Quantum Measurement Problem
3. Relativity and Symmetries
§ 5. Geometry and Space-time
§ 6. Symmetries in Physics
§ 7. The Principles of Relativity and Local Symmetry
4. Quantum Field Theory
§ 8. Quantum Fields and Elementary Particles
§ 9. Fields, Quantum Fields, and Field Quanta
§ 10. Interacting Fields and Gauge Field Theory
5. Objects of Experiences: Quantum States-observables-statistics
§ 11. Properties and Quantum Properties: Amplitudes
§ 12. The Form of Observation and the Reality of Quantum States
§ 13. The Gap in Understanding: Eigenvalue and Probability
§ 14. Coordinatization of the Quantum World: Observables
§ 15. The General Concept of Objects in Physical Theories
§ 16. The Illusion of the Observer
§ 17. The Mentalism Behind Yes-no Experiments
6. The Event-structure and the Spatio-temporal Order: Local Fields
§ 18. The Whole and the Individual: Field and Event
§ 19. This-Something: Events or Local Fields
§ 20. The Basic Spatio-temporal Structure of the Physical World
§ 21. The Referential Structure of Field Theory
§ 22. The States of the Field as a Whole: Field Quanta
§ 23. Identity and Diversity: Quantum Multi-Particle Systems
7. Explicit Relations and the Causal Order: Interacting Fields
§ 24. The Constancy of Predication and the Cement of the Universe
§ 25. Permanence, Endurance, and the Concepts of Time
§ 26. How Are Regular Successions of Events Possible?
§ 27. Relational Properties: Phase and Potential
§ 28. Causal Relations: Connection and Parallel Transport
§ 29. Thoroughgoing Interaction: Renormalization
8. Epilogue
§ 30. The Intelligibility of the Objective World
Appendix A. measure and probability: quantity, quality, modality
§ A1. Measure: the General Concept of Extensive Magnitudes
§ A2. Function and Distribution: Individual and Collective Qualities
§ A3. Individual, Statistical, and Probabilistic Statements
Appendix B. fiber bundles
Appendix C. the cosmic and the microscopic: an application
  How is Quantum Field Theory Possible?

Sunny Y Auyang
Oxford University Press

ISBN 0-19-509345-3
$ 24.95 paperback
290 pages