Nick Huggett will be speaking online at the Oxford Philosophy of Physics seminar on Thursday 4th March, at 16.30 GMT. Details here: https://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/philosophy-of-physics-seminar#. Hope to see you there.
Title: Missing the point in (noncommutative) field theory.
Abstract: A non-commutative field theory (for scalar fields in this talk) introduces a fundamental area, as the measure of non-commutation (analogous to Planck’s constant), but does it signify a minimum area? Drawing on work with Fedele Lizzi (Napoli) and Tushar Menon (Cambridge) I will explain a sense in which this is correct, implying that points are ‘missing’. This situation raises several questions: how should the theory then be understood? Can its algebraic formulation be interpreted as describing the basic degrees of freedom of a world? And if so, how do we understand the ‘emergence’ of continuous, classical spacetime physics?