String Dualities and Empirical Equivalence

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Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, ISSN: 1355-2198

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Dawid, Richard
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article description
String dualities establish empirical equivalence between theories that often look entirely different with respect to their basic ontology and physical structure. Therefore, they represent a particularly interesting example of empirical equivalence in physics. However, the status of duality relations in string physics differs substantially from the traditional understanding of the role played by empirical equivalence. The paper specifies three important differences and argues that they are related to a substantially altered view on the underdetermination of theory building.