Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

From Current Algebra to Quantum Chromodynamics
A Case for Structural Realism


  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107411395

£ 37.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The advent of quantum chromodynamics (QCD) in the early 1970s was one of the most important events in twentieth-century science. This book examines the conceptual steps that were crucial to the rise of QCD, placing them in historical context against the background of debates that were ongoing between the bootstrap approach and composite modeling, and between mathematical and realistic conceptions of quarks. It explains the origins of QCD in current algebra and its development through high-energy experiments, model-building, mathematical analysis and conceptual synthesis. Addressing a range of complex physical, philosophical and historiographical issues in detail, this book will interest graduate students and researchers in physics and in the history and philosophy of science.

    • Provides a clear explanation of the background to one of the most important events in twentieth-century science
    • A unique book that incorporates both historical narrative and detailed critical assessment
    • Offers deep conceptual and philosophical analyses of topics at the interface of physics and metaphysics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Tian Yu's book is a penetrating treatment of the physics involved, but with many philosophical asides, that he alone can produce effortlessly. I have enjoyed reading it enormously.' Michael Redhead, Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge, FBA

    'Cao's book provides many historical and conceptual insights into the fascinating development of QCD.' Vincent Lam, Philosophy in Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107411395
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The rise of current algebra (CA)
    3. Sum rules
    4. Saturation and closure
    5. Scaling
    6. Theorizations of scaling
    7. The advent of quantum chromodynamics (QCD)
    8. Early justifications and explorations
    9. Structural realism and the construction of QCD
    10. Historiographical issues in the CA-QCD narrative.

  • Author

    Tian Yu Cao, Boston University

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.