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Are gauge symmetry transformations observable?

Brading, Katherine and Brown, Harvey R. (2003) Are gauge symmetry transformations observable? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In a recent paper in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Kosso discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by ’t Hooft has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing the cases of gauge symmetry and general covariance.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Brading, Katherine
Brown, Harvey R.
Additional Information: To appear in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Keywords: symmetry gauge general covariance General Theory of Relativity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Katherine A. Brading
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1436
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1436

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