Paving the way to effective field theories

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Over the past century, many models have emerged to explain the complex behaviors that develop within atomic nuclei with low energies. However, these theories bring deep philosophical questions about their scientific value. Indeed, traditional epistemological tools have been sufficiently developed to explain a unified and stabilized theory rather than grasping a plurality of models. Ideally, a theory is reductionist, unitary, and fundamentalist. Given the internally limited accuracy of their prediction and the difficulty of assessing a priori their scope of applicability, as well as their specific and disconnected character, traditional nuclear models are necessarily lacking when analyzed by standard epistemological interpretive frameworks.

The theoretical construction brought about by so-called effective field theories allows a better pronunciation of the tension between the natural reductionist force played in physical sciences and the need to account for phenomena occurring at various energy / space scales in complex systems such as the atomic nucleus. . Because of the various scales involved, tower or tree-like hierarchies of interrelated effective field theories are essentially necessary and thus must be formulated and articulated. This is mandatory in order to develop a coherent, effective and outstanding description of the zoology of nuclear phenomena.

This special issue, published in EPJ A, presents a coherent collection of works by theoretical experts from around the world on the use of effective field theories. Several unanswered questions are addressed and clarified, leading to detailed assessments of the philosophical foundations of effective field theories. The collected studies show how these ideas are becoming important in low-energy nuclear systems, as well as in biological and gravitational systems – which have comparable levels of underlying complexity. The results of this research pave the way for new advances in the broader field of low-energy nuclear physics.


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Additional information:
Vincent Bontems et al, A thematic topic on the tower of effective (field) theories and the emergence of nuclear phenomena, The European Physical Journal A (2021). DOI: 10.1140 / epja / s10050-021-00356-4

Quote: Paving the way to effective field theories (2021, February 1) taken February 2, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-paving-effective-field-theories.html

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