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Compositeness and QFT - or are chairs made of atoms?


Event description

In this talk, I explore the concept of compositeness in relation to QFT and argue that there is no satisfactory, exact definition of compositeness. Therefore, we are forced to conclude that all bound states, from pions to people, have the same fundamentality and that the sentence "chairs are made of atoms" is, in a strict sense, untrue. I then propose an approximate notion of compositeness and explain why it is a useful construct in higher-level theories - that is, I explain why chairs look like they are made of atoms.

Finally, I connect this work to the "Problems of Ordinary Objects," a set of philosophical arguments that challenges our intuitive understanding of what constitutes an object. By rejecting compositeness, many of these arguments no longer hold.

Note: This talk is primarily philosophical, as it focuses on definitions rather than predictive power. It is still in its early stages, with many ideas not fully developed, so I welcome criticism.

Compositeness and QFT - or are chairs made of atoms?


Higgs Centre Seminar Room, JCMB (Find us on campus maps)
The Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics
School of Physics and Astronomy
James Clerk Maxwell Building, 4305
Peter Guthrie Tait Road



Passcode: Higgs2023