My interests are primarily in the philosophy of physics, the philosophy of science, and the history of 20th century physics. My research is focused on reconceptualizing how mathematics functions as a language for describing empirical phenomena. I look to apparent mathematical deficiencies of scientific theories and construe them as hints about how the theory represents the world. Rather than obstacles to interpretation, the breakdowns of mathematical consistency that arise in the course of scientific theorizing often are the best sources of information about how mathematical structures capture physical meaning. Recognizing this motivates important modifications to standard accounts of the ontological commitments warranted by a theory’s empirical success. My recent work addresses these themes in the context of fundamental particle physics.
- “What, if anything, does quantum field theory explain?” (forthcoming in Metascience) Review of Jonathan Bain: CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection.
- “Haag’s theorem, apparent inconsistency, and the empirical adequacy of quantum field theory” (forthcoming in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science).
- “The origins of Schwinger’s Euclidean Green’s functions”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics (2015) 50:5-12.