Volume 85, Number 2, January 2009
Article Number 20003
Number of page(s) 5
Section General
Published online 28 January 2009
EPL, 85 (2009) 20003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/85/20003

Is quantum field theory a genuine quantum theory? Foundational insights on particles and strings

H. Nikolić

Theoretical Physics Division, Rudjer Bošković Institute - P.O.B. 180, HR-10002 Zagreb, Croatia

received 1 October 2008; accepted in final form 16 December 2008; published January 2009
published online 28 January 2009

Practically measurable quantities resulting from quantum field theory are not described by Hermitian operators, contradicting one of the cornerstone axioms of orthodox quantum theory. This could be a sign that some of the axioms of orthodox quantum theory should be reformulated. A non-orthodox reformulation of quantum theory based on integral curves of particle currents is advocated and possible measurable manifestations are discussed. The consistency with particle creation and destruction requires particles to be extended objects, which can be viewed as a new motivation for introducing string theory. Within this reformulation, an indirect low-energy test of string theory is also possible.

03.70.+k - Theory of quantized fields.
03.65.Ta - Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory.
11.25.-w - Strings and branes.

© EPLA 2009