Reeh-Schlieder defeats Newton-Wigner: On alternative localization schemes in relativistic quantum field theory

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Abstract

Many of the "counterintuitive" features of relativistic quantum field theory have their formal root in the Reeh-Schlieder theorem, which in particular entails that local operations applied to the vacuum state can produce any state of the entire field. It is of great interest then that I. E. Segal and, more recently, G. Fleming (in a paper entitled "Reeh-Schlieder meets Newton-Wigner") have proposed an alternative "Newton-Wigner" localization scheme that avoids the Reeh-Schlieder theorem. In this paper, I reconstruct the Newton-Wigner localization scheme and clarify the limited extent to which it avoids the counterintuitive consequences of the Reeh-Schlieder theorem. I also argue that there is no coherent interpretation of the Newton-Wigner localization scheme that renders it free from act-outcome correlations at spacelike separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-133
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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