[FOM] Question about theoretical physics

Nik Weaver nweaver at math.wustl.edu
Fri Feb 22 12:39:05 EST 2013

Joe Shipman wrote:

> If my account is correct, then even the supposedly well-established 
> theory of Quantum Electrodynamics does not have a valid mathematical 
> foundation, because it unjustifiably assumes convergence of the relevant 
> series.

Yes, at least for now QED in 4 spacetime dimensions does not have a
valid mathematical foundation.  This is considered one of the major
open problems in mathematical physics.  The Wikipedia article on
"Constructive quantum field theory" is a good place to start (here
"constructive" is used in a rather odd way, to mean "coming up with
a mathematical model which can justify the physical recipes").


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