From Wikipedia: [The Dirac sea is a theoretical model of the vacuum as an infinite sea of particles with negative energy. It was first postulated by the British physicist Paul Dirac in 1930 to explain the anomalous negative-energy quantum states predicted by the Dirac equation for relativistic electrons. The positron, the antimatter counterpart of the electron, was originally conceived of as a hole in the Dirac sea, well before its experimental discovery in 1932.]
[Dirac's idea is completely correct in the context of solid state physics, where the valence band in a solid can be regarded as a "sea" of electrons. Holes in this sea indeed occur, and are extremely important for understanding the effects of semiconductors, though they are never referred to as "positrons". Unlike in particle physics, there is an underlying positive charge — the charge of the ionic lattice — that cancels out the electric charge of the sea.]
It always confused me to think of holes as positive charge carriers in semi-conductors as not being real: real electrons move from one lattice-position to another lattice-position, which effectively looks like a positive hole in the lattice that is moving in the other direction, but in reality a real electron moves, the hole is kind of an "illusion".
On the other hand the positrons are always introduced as real hard-core particles.
The quotes from the Wikipedia article make me unsure: how should I look upon these phenomena?
Edit: holes in a Dirac sea give rise to real pos. entities in one case and to unreal pos. entities in another - how can we distinguish, is it a matter of formalism?