Anderson Alves da Silva

Doctorate Degree
Graduate Advisor
Osvaldo Frota Pessoa Junior
Examining board
Osvaldo Frota Pessoa Júnior (FFLCH - USP), Thiago Hartz Maia (UFPR), Caetano Ernesto Plastino (FFLCH - USP), Roldão da Rocha Junior (UFABC)
Research title
Quantum field theory: philosophy and history from the perspective of Thomas S. Kuhn
Research abstract

The Quantum Field Theory went through two fundamental moments in its construction, respectively, in the early 1930s and late 1940s. The first of these is the contribution made by the work of the physicist Paul Dirac, with which the first successful version of the theory is established, centered, in particular, on in what are now called Dirac equati-ons. In the second moment, in turn, after a series of attempts to find a solution to some inconsistencies, initially, conceptual and, later, with respect to the calculations, there finally emerges an elaboration complex mathematics, known today as renormalization theory, in order to eliminate the difficulties with the physical-mathematical analyzes of the Quantum Theory of fields. Among the many scientists who contributed to this new reformulation, the theoretical physicist Richard Feynman plays an essential role, who suggests, in an unprecedented way, a complete reinterpretation of the positron theory, previously elaborated by Dirac. In this thesis, we argue that the historical process in question is a scientific revolution in the terms presented by the philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. With that, in addition to emphasize the evident importance of this pas-sage for both physics and history of science, our thesis seeks to develop, in detail, the propositions found, above all, in Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, to which the history has an essential place. In this way, and for no other reason, we retraced the path that led to the work of Richard Feynman, through a direct rereading of the debate which was effected especially through the scientific articles published at the time. Based on this, we present our thesis, having in mind, this time, a series of concepts fundamentals developed in Thomas Kuhn's essay, some of which are already quite explored, such as paradigm and gestalt, but still others, not so much discussed, as an anomalous experiment.


Keywords: Field theory; Lamb Shift; Quantum theory; Special relativity; Kuhn.