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Isolated Systems and their Symmetries, Part I: General Framework and Particle-Mechanics Examples

Wallace, David (2019) Isolated Systems and their Symmetries, Part I: General Framework and Particle-Mechanics Examples. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Physical theories, for the most part, should be understood as modelling isolated subsystems of a larger Universe; doing so, among other benefits, greatly clarifies the interpretation of the dynamical symmetries of those theories. I provide a detailed framework for analysing the subsystem structure of physical theories and applying it to the interpretation of their symmetries: the core concept is subsystem-recursivity, whereby interpretative conclusions about a sector of a theory can be deduced from considering subsystems of other models of the same theory. I illustrate the framework by extensive examples from nonrelativistic particle mechanics, and in particular from Newtonian theories of gravity. A sequel to the paper will apply the framework to the local and global symmetries of classical field theory.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Wallace, Daviddmw121@pitt.edu
Keywords: Symmetry Newtonian gravity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: David Wallace
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 02:13
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2019 02:13
Item ID: 16623
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16623

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