[ExI] Renormalization (was End of time?)

spike spike66 at att.net
Sun Oct 3 22:39:44 UTC 2010


> ...On Behalf Of The Avantguardian
> And Feynman said:
> "The shell game that we play ... is technically called 
> 'renormalization'. But no matter how clever the word, it is still what I
would call a 
> dippy process! 
> Having to resort to such hocus-pocus has prevented us from 
> proving that the theory of quantum electrodynamics is 
> mathematically self-consistent. It's surprising that the 
> theory still hasn't been proved self-consistent one way or 
> the other by now; I suspect that renormalization is not 
> mathematically legitimate."  Feynman
> Stuart LaForge

Ja, but controls engineers use renormalization all the time.  Poles in the
right half plane?  No problem, drop a zero or two on top of that mean old
infinity, and it works, aircraft stay in the air, life goes on, etc.

Here's an interesting take on it however.  The physicists and especially the
mathematicians hate the whole notion of renormalization, but engineers use
it unapologetically, and seldom lose any sleep over it.  So now we have
physicists forced to use what amounts to an engineer's approach and the
mathematicians throwing rotton tomatoes at it.


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