History and Philosophy of Feynman’s Electrodynamics: From the Absorber Theory of Radiation to Feynman Diagrams
Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
In this dissertation I individuate and discuss Richard Feynman’s overall spacetime view. I argue that the absorber theory of radiation, the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, all share the overall spacetime view as a common conceptual framework. Even though this framework changed with the different theories, its most general form can be characterized as the looking at physics phenomena in their spacetime entirety. I show how the absorber theory of radiation is based on the intertwining of past and future within a closed system of absorbers and emitters. I show how the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics considers all the possible configurations within the initial and final states. I address how the overall spacetime view fits with Feynman diagrams and perturbation theory. Such a conceptual framework, I maintain, led Feynman to look at quantum phenomena from a new and revolutionary perspective, and to the formulation of one of our best scientific theories.
Forgione, M.(2022). History and Philosophy of Feynman’s Electrodynamics: From the Absorber Theory of Radiation to Feynman Diagrams. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/6686