Events and covariance in the interpretation of quantum field theory
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In relativistic quantum field theory the notion of a local operation is regarded as basic: each open space-time region is associated with an algebra of observables representing possible measurements performed within this region. It is much more difficult to accommodate the notions of events taking place in such regions or of localized objects. But how can the notion of a local operation be basic in the theory if this same theory would not be able to represent localized measuring devices and localized events? After briefly reviewing these difficulties we discuss a strategy for eliminating the tension, namely by interpreting quantum theory in a realist way. To implement this strategy we use the ideas of the modal interpretation of quantum mechanics. We then consider the question of whether the resulting scheme can be made Lorentz invariant.