Back to overview

A persistent particle ontology for QFT in terms of the Dirac sea

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Deckert Dirk-André , Esfeld Michael , Oldofredi Andrea ,
Project The metaphysics of physics: natural philosophy
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Page(s) 1
Title of proceedings British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axx018


We show that the Bohmian approach in terms of persisting particles that move on continuous trajectories following a deterministic law can be literally applied to QFT. By means of the Dirac sea model -- exemplified in the electron sector of the standard model neglecting radiation -- we explain how starting from persisting particles, one is led to standard QFT employing creation and annihilation operators when tracking the dynamics with respect to a reference state, the so-called vacuum. Since on the level of wave functions, both formalisms are mathematically equivalent, this proposal provides for an ontology of QFT that includes a dynamics of individual processes, solves the measurement problem and explains the appearance of creation and annihilation events.