From path integrals to dynamical algebras: a macroscopic view of quantum physics

Detlev Buchholz, Klaus Fredenhagen
May 10, 2019
The essence of the path integral method in quantum physics can be expressed in terms of two relations between unitary propagators, describing perturbations of the underlying system. They inherit the causal structure of the theory and its invariance properties under variations of the action. These relations determine a dynamical algebra of bounded operators which encodes all properties of the corresponding quantum theory. This novel approach is applied to non-relativistic particles, where quantum mechanics emerges from it. The method works also in interacting quantum field theories and sheds new light on the foundations of quantum physics.