David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1329-1342 (2003)
A characteristic feature of quantum field theory is the availability of unitarily inequivalent representations of its canonical commutation relations. Under the prima facie reasonable assumption that unitary equivalence is a necessary condition for physical equivalence, this availability implies that there are many physically inequivalent quantizations of any classical field theory. To explore this dramatic non-uniqueness, and its implications for our understanding of how physical theories delimit physical possibility, I examine some of the uses to which unitarily inequivalent representations are put in another setting in which they arise: the thermodynamic limit of quantum statistical mechanics.
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Citations of this work BETA
David Wallace (2011). Taking Particle Physics Seriously: A Critique of the Algebraic Approach to Quantum Field Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (2):116-125.
Doreen Fraser (2011). How to Take Particle Physics Seriously: A Further Defence of Axiomatic Quantum Field Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (2):126-135.
Laura Ruetsche (2006). Johnny's So Long at the Ferromagnet. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):473-486.
Tracy Lupher (forthcoming). The Limits of Physical Equivalence in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw017.
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