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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
    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 11:12
    Item ID: 1436
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/1436

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