My research focuses on the foundations and methodology of frontier physics. My main focus has been on quantum field theory and cosmology, though I have interests in quantum foundations and spacetime theories as well. I have been involved in a few different research projects, collaboratively and on my own. My main research interests are in the foundations of quantum field theory, early universe cosmology, theory construction in particle physics, and general philosophy of quantum theory. I have recently started thinking about theory construction, methodology, and dynamic epistemology as more general themes in philosophy of science.

Foundations of QFT

Quantum field theory is the framework in which our best theory of matter – the standard model of particle physics – is constructed. Relativistic QFT is both the most precisely tested framework and the messiest formalism in frontier physics. I believe that the best way to understand the framework is to focus on methodology and the process of theory construction. By focusing on the process of constructing and using QFT, we shift focus away from the imprecise and sometimes ill-defined structure of the theory as a static entity. What makes QFT so successful is its flexibility and the diverse uses to which it can be put.

Theory Construction

Though my focus on theory construction has largely centred on particle physics and quantum field theory, I am interested in the process of theory construction more generally in science. I believe that the lessons from quantum field theory are generalizable: we learn more about the epistemology and methodology of physics by focusing on science as a process. This involves paying close attention to all methods and tools used within a discipline, and situating these studies within the social and historical context.

Early Universe Cosmology

The early universe is a great window into high-energy physics, where gravitational and quantum effects play prominent roles in dynamical evolution. This is the realm where we can stretch the applicability of our current best theories near their breaking point. Conceptual and foundational issues like the cosmological constant problem, the physical source of inflation, and early universe phase transitions may point the way to new physics like a quantum theory of gravity. My research focuses on the ways that these problems highlight the limitations of the effective field theory framework, and therefore provide a more direct testing ground for new high-energy theories.

Quantum Theory

More basic than particular concerns about the methods, tools, and evidence for quantum field theory and quantum gravity are questions about how to understand the ways in which quantum theory represents the world (if at all). Philosophers and physicists have long been focused on how to interpret quantum theory. I am interested in the new perspectives that recent information-theoretic reconstructions of quantum theory can provide for understanding the structure of quantum theory. Though these do not typically provide a full interpretation of quantum theory, they can provide physical motivations for the necessity of quantum behaviour.

Google Scholar / PhilPeople / New Directions


A. Koberinski and C. Smeenk. “QED, Q.E.D.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 71, 1-13 (2020).

A. Koberinski. “Parity violation in weak interactions: How experiment can shape a theoretical framework,” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 67, 64-77 (2019).

A. Koberinski, A. Baglaenko, M. Stastna, “Schmidt number effects on Rayleigh-Taylor instability in a thin channel,” Physics of Fluids 27, 084102 (2015).

Works in Progress

A. Koberinski and C. Smeenk. “Philosophical Issues in Early Universe Cosmology,” Forthcoming in Oxford Online Encyclopedia of Physics.

A. Koberinski and C. Smeenk. “Establishing inflationary cosmology”.

A. Koberinski and C. Smeenk. “Effective decoupling in inflation”.

A. Koberinski. “Phase transitions and the birth of early universe particle physics”.

A. Koberinski. “It’s not 0K: Conceptual challenges in finite-temperature field theory”.

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