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Blum, Alexander S.; Joas, Christian (2016): From dressed electrons to quasiparticles: The emergence of emergent entities in quantum field theory. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Vol. 53: pp. 1-8
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In the 1970s, the reinterpretation of renormalization group techniques in terms of effective field theories and their subsequent rapid development led to a major reinterpretation of the entire renormalization program, originally formulated in the late 1940s within quantum electrodynamics (QED). A more gradual shift in its interpretation, however, occurred already in the early-to-mid-1950s when renormalization techniques were transferred to solid-state and nuclear physics and helped establish the notion of effective or quasi-particles, emergent entities that are not to be found in the original, microscopic description of the theory. We study how the methods of QED, when applied in different contexts, gave rise to this ontological reinterpretation. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.