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Is the world made of loops?

Afriat, Alexander (2013) Is the world made of loops? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In discussions of the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Healey and Lyre have attributed re- ality to loops α (or hoops [α]), since the electromagnetic potential A is unmea- surable and can therefore be transformed. I argue that [A] and the hoop [α] are related by a meaningful duality, so that however one feels about [A] (or any potential A ∈ [A]), it is no worse than [α] (or any loop α ∈ [α]): no ontological firmness is gained by retreating to the loops, which are just as flimsy as the potentials. And one wonders how the unmeasurability of one entity can invest another with physical reality; would an eventual observation of A dissolve α, consigning it to a realm of incorporeal mathematical abstractions?


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Afriat, Alexanderafriat@gmail.com
Keywords: ontology, gauge, loops, potentials, Aharonov-Bohm
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Alexander Afriat
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2013 16:00
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2013 16:00
Item ID: 10073
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 27 September 2013
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10073

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