# Reeh-Schlieder Defeats Newton-Wigner: On alternative localization schemes in relativistic quantum field theory

July 18, 2000

Many of the "counterintuitive" features of relativistic quantum field theory
have their formal root in the Reeh-Schlieder theorem, which in particular
entails that local operations applied to the vacuum state can produce any state
of the entire field. It is of great interest, then, that I.E. Segal and, more
recently, G. Fleming (in a paper entitled "Reeh-Schlieder Meets Newton-Wigner")
have proposed an alternative "Newton-Wigner" localization scheme that avoids
the Reeh-Schlieder theorem. In this paper, I reconstruct the Newton-Wigner
localization scheme and clarify the limited extent to which it avoids the
counterintuitive consequences of the Reeh-Schlieder theorem. I also argue that
neither Segal nor Fleming has provided a coherent account of the physical
meaning of Newton-Wigner localization.

open access link

Phil.Sci. 68 (2001) 111-133

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