Unitary Inequivalence as a Problem for Structural Realism

Howard argues that the existence of unitarily inequivalent representations in Quantum Field Theory presents a problem for structural realism in this context. I consider two potential ways round this problem: 1), follow Wallace in adopting the 'naive' Lagrangian form of QFT with cut-offs; 2), adapt Ruetsche's 'Swiss Army Knife' approach. The first takes us into the current debate between Wallace and Fraser on conventional vs. algebraic QFT. The second involves consideration of the role of inequivalent representations in understanding spontaneous symmetry breaking and quantum statistics. In both cases, I suggest, the structural realist has sufficient room to manoeuvre.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2011.09.001
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References found in this work BETA
J. Ladyman (1998). What is Structural Realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Doreen Fraser (2008). The Fate of 'Particles' in Quantum Field Theories with Interactions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 39 (4):841-859.

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Vincent Lam (2013). The Entanglement Structure of Quantum Field Systems. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):59 - 72.

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